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The  WORKS  of  LI-PO 

The  Chinese  Poet  **  Done  into 
English  Verse  by  SHIGEYOSHI 
OB  ATA  **  With  an  Introduction  and 
Biographical  and  Critical  Matter 
Translated     from     the     Chinese 

J.    M.    DENT    &    SONS    LIMITED 




This  is  the  first  attempt  ever  made  to  deal  with  any 
single  Chinese  poet  exclusively  in  one  book  for  the 
purpose  of  introducing  him  to  the  English-speaking 

Li  Po  has  been  the  best-known  Chinese  poet  in  the 
Orient  for  the  last  one  thousand  years  or  more.  In 
America  his  name  has  only  recently  been  made  familiar 
to  the  poetry  public  through  the  translation  of  his 
poems  by  eminent  contemporary  poets.  But  as  the 
Bibliography  at  the  end  of  the  present  volume  indicates, 
Li  Po — variously  designated  as  Le  Pih,  Ly  Pe,  Li  Tai- 
pe,  Li  Tai-po,  et  cet. — has  been  known  more  or  less  to 
Europe  during  the  past  century.  A  prominent  place  is 
accorded  the  poet  in  all  the  French  and  German  anthol- 
ogies of  Chinese  poems,  which  have  appeared  from 
time  to  time.  He  is  included  among  the  Portraits  des 
Celebres  Chinois  in  Amiot's  Memoires  (1776-97),  while 
Pavie's  Contes  Chinois  (1839)  has  a  nouvelle  of  his 
life.  Excellent  studies  and  translations  have  been  made 
by  two  German  scholars,  Florenz  and  Bernhardi,  in 
their  monographs  on  the  poet. 

In  the  English  language,  there  is  Mr.  Edkins'  paper 
"On  Li  Tai-po,"  which  was  read  before  the  Peking 
Oriental  Society  in  1888  and  was  published  in  that  So- 
ciety's Journal  in  1890.  Mr.  Edkins  was  perhaps  the 
first  Englishman  to  pay  special  attention  to  our  poet, 
though  his  translations  are  trite  and  barren.  Professor 
Giles'  Chinese  Poetry  in  English  Verse  and  History  of 



Chinese  Literature  came  out  respectively  in  1898  and 
1901.  While  his  dexterous  renderings  of  Li  Po  and 
other  poets  have  since  been  generally  accepted  as  stand- 
ard English  versions,  they  fail  to  create  an  appetite  for 
more  of  their  kind  owing  probably  to  the  professor's 
glib  and  homely  Victorian  rhetoric  which  is  not  to  the 
taste  of  the  present  day.  Mr.  Cranmer-Byng  is  elegant, 
fcut  somewhat  prolix.  His  two  books,  A  Lute  of  Jade 
and  A  Feast  of  Lanterns,  have  many  gorgeous  lines, 
suffused,  I  fear,  with  a  little  too  much  of  Mr.  Cranmer- 
Byng's  own  impassioned  poetry.  These  three  men  be- 
long to  the  old  school  of  translators,  who  usually  em- 
ploy rhyme  and  stanzaic  forms. 

Then,  in  1915,  Mr.  Ezra  Pound  entered  the  field  with 
his  Cathay,  a  slender  volume  of  a  dozen  or  more  poems 
mostly  of  Li  Po,  "translated  from  the  notes  of  the  late 
Professor  Fenollosa  and  the  decipherings  of  Professors 
Mori  and  Ariga."  In  spite  of  its  small  size  and  its 
extravagant  errors  the  book  possesses  abundant  color, 
freshness  and  poignancy,  and  is  in  spirit  and  style  the 
first  product  of  what  may  be  called  the  new  school  of 
free-verse  translators,  who  are  much  in  evidence  now- 
adays. I  confess  that  it  was  Mr.  Pound's  little  book 
that  exasperated  me  and  at  the  same  time  awakened  me 
to  the  realization  of  new  possibilities  so  that  I  began 
seriously  to  do  translations  myself.  Mr.  Waley  omits 
Li  Po  from  his  first  book,  but  includes  in  his  More 
Translations  a  few  specimens  from  a  group  of  poems 
that  he  published  in  the  Asiatic  Review,  in  which  he 
avers  that  he  does  not  regard  Li  Po  so  highly  as  others 
do.  On  the  other  hand,  Miss  Lowell  devotes  her  recent 
delightful  volume,  Fir-Flower  Tablets,  largely  to  our 
poet,  with  a  selection  of  eighty-five  poems  by  him.  Mr. 
Bynner's  translation  of  what  he  calls  Three  Hundred 



Pearls  of  Tung  Poetry,  has  been  announced  for  early 
publication,  in  which  Li  Po  will  be  represented  by  some 
twenty-five  poems. 

Now  to  the  Western  literary  world,  generally  speak- 
ing, much  of  Chinese  poetry  remains  still  an  uncharted 
sea  for  adventure.  The  romantic  explorer  who  comes 
home  from  it  may  tell  any  tale  to  the  eager  and  credu- 
lous folk.  Not  that  yarns  are  wilfully  fabricated,  but 
on  these  strange  vasty  waters,  dimly  illumined  with 
knowledge,  one  may  see  things  that  are  not  there  and 
may  not  see  things  that  are  really  there.  Such  is 
certainly  the  case  with  Li  Po.  For  instance,  Mr.  Edkins 
speaks  of  a  poem  (No.  72)  which  he  entitles  "A  Japa- 
nese Lost  at  Sea,"  as  being  "unknown  in  China"  but 
having  been  preserved  by  the  Japanese.  He  adds  with 
the  pride  of  a  discoverer  that  the  poem  was  given  him 
by  ,a  Japanese  in  1888,  whereas  as  a  matter  of  fact  the 
same  poem  has  for  these  centuries  had  a  place  in  any 
Chinese  edition  of  Li  Po's  complete  works.  Take  an- 
other example.  Due  to  the  devious  and  extremely 
hazardous  nature  of  his  method  of  translation,  Mr. 
Pound  gathers  two  different  poems  of  Li  Po  into  one, 
incorporating  the  title  of  the  second  piece  in  the  body 
of  his  baffling  conglomeration.  Even  Mr.  Waley  regis- 
ters his  fallibility  by  a  curiously  elaborate  piece  of 
mistranslation  in  the  Asiatic  Review.  Speaking  of  Li 
Po's  death,  he  quotes  from  Li  Yang-ping's  Preface  a 
passage,  rendering  it  as  follows: 

When  he  was  about  to  hang  up  his  cap  (a  eu- 
phemism for  dying),  Li  Po  was  worried  .  .  . 

which  should  read,  to  follow  Mr.  Waley's  manner, 

When  I  was  about  to  hang  up  my  cap  (a  eu- 
phemism for  resigning  from  office),  Li  Po  was 
sick.  .  .  . 



"Kua  Kuan,"  a  quite  common  Chinese  phrase,  meaning 
to  hang  one's  cap,  that  is,  one's  official  cap,  is  never 
used  as  a  conceit  for  dying.     In  her  Introduction  to  Fir- 
Flower  Tablets,  Mrs.  Ayscough  is  right  in  rejecting  the 
tempting   morsel    of   legend   about   Li   Po's    drowning, 
which    has    been    accepted    by    Professor    Giles    and 
others.     But  on  the  same  page  she  makes  a  misstate- 
ment to  the  effect  that  Li  Po  after  his  return  from  exile 
went  to  "live  with  his  friend  and  disciple,  Lu  Yang- 
ping,  in  the  mountains  near  Kiu  Kiang."     The  fact  is 
Li  Yang-ping  (not  Lu  Yang-ping)   was  then  magistrate 
of  Tang-tu,  the  present  city  of  Tai-ping  in  the  province 
of   Anhwei,   at   a   considerable   distance  from  the  Lu 
Mountains,  which  are  in  Hunan.     Nor  does  she  seem 
to  be  conversant  with  the  notorious  bit  of  China's  lit- 
erary history  regarding  the   "Eight  Immortals   of  the 
Winecup."    They  acquired  their  enviable  fame  in  the 
taverns   of   Chang- an   during  Li  Po's  sojourn   in  that 
metropolis.    Tu  Fu's  celebrated  poem  (No.  125)   will 
serve  as  an  evidence.    The  group  never  lived  in  the 
mountains  together  as  Mrs.  Ayscough  makes  out.     Again 
she    blunders    glaringly    and    inexcusably    in    writing, 
"China's  three  greatest  poets,  Li  Tai-po,  Tu  Fu,  and  Po 
Chu-i  all  lived  during  his  (Ming  Huang's)   long  reign 
of  forty-five  years,"  for  elsewhere  in  her  own  book  the 
years  of  these  poets  are  correctly  given  to  be  respec- 
tively, A.  p.  701-762,  712-770  and  772-846. 

By  citing  these  few  obvious  errors  committed  by 
zealous  scholars  and  daring  poets,  I  do  not  mean  to 
discredit  their  brilliant  achievements,  which  I  fully 
appreciate,  and  to  which  I  am  heavily  indebted  in  the 
execution  of  my  work.  Only  I  feel  it  my  duty  to  in- 
dicate to  my  reader  the  still  very  imperfect  state  of 
what  is  accessible  to  him  in  the  way  of  a  Li  Po  literature 
in  English.  And  conscious  of  my  own  failings,  I  offer 



him  my  book  in  all  humility  although  I  have  profited 
by  the  contributions  of  my  predecessors,  and  although 
I  feel  that  in  the  limited  scope  I  have  chosen,  my  work 
is  generally  adequate. 

I  am  a  Japanese.  I  pretend  to  no  erudition  in  Chi- 
nese literature.  But  I  have  been  all  my  life  a  student 
and  lover  of  Chinese  poetry,  or  as  much  of  it  as  I 
can  read.  In  my  boyhood  I  learned  some  shorter  pieces 
of  Li  Po  by  heart.  And  during  these  past  years  of  my 
study  and  travel  in  America  I  have  always  carried  with 
me  a  small  edition  of  his  works.  These  translations 
were  made  at  intervals,  over  half  of  them  having  been 
finished  before  the  spring  of  1916.  It  is  more  than  a 
year  since  the  entire  collection  was  completed  and  I 
began  to  look  for  a  publisher.  A  few  of  the  poems 
were  published  in  the  Wisconsin  Literary  Magazine,  a 
student  publication  at  the  University  of  Wisconsin 
where  I  did  my  graduate  work  in  English  during  1917- 
1918.  One  poem  (No.  9)  was  printed  by  a  friendly 
editor  in  1919  in  the  now  defunct  Art  and  Life.  All  the 
rest  is  presented  to  the  public  for  the  first  time. 

For  the  historical  and  biographical  matter  in  the 
Introduction  I  drew  only  on  the  most  reliable  Chinese 
sources  such  as  the  writings  of  the  poet  himself  and  his 
contemporaries  and  the  two  Books  of  Tang,  while  I 
referred  constantly  to  the  works  of  European  historians 
and  translators.  As  to  the  poems  themselves,  they  rep- 
resent only  a  little  more  than  one-tenth  of  the  works 
of  Li  Po  preserved  in  the  standard  Chinese  edition, 
but  I  have  tried  to  make  the  selection  as  varied  and 
representative  as  possible  and  included,  consequently,  a 
number  of  popular  pieces  which  have  been  translated 
by  more  than  one  hand.  I  have  honestly  tried  my  best 
to  follow  the  original  poems  closely  and  to  preserve 



the  peculiar  emotional  color  of  each  poem,  waiting  for 
the  moment  when  I  was  in  the  right  mood  to  take  up  a 
particular  piece.  For  the  elucidation  of  the  difficult 
passages  I  depended  largely  on  Japanese  and  Chinese 
commentaries,  and  consulted  freely,  wherever  possible, 
existing  European  translations;  and  I  had  also  the  as- 
sistance of  my  Chinese  friends.  But  I  wish  to  have  my 
reader  understand  that  many  of  my  versions  are  far 
from  being  literal.  A  literal  translation  would  often 
leave  a  Chinese  poem  unintelligible  unless  supplied 
with  a  great  amount  of  exegesis,  and  I  did  not  wish  to 
empty  all  the  rich  content  of  the  original  into  footnotes. 
I  have  amplified  or  paraphrased  on  many  occasions. 
I  have  omitted  unimportant  words  here  and  there.  I 
have  discarded,  or  translated,  a  number  of  proper  names 
because,  some  way  or  other,  Chinese  syllables  refuse  to 
sing  in  company  with  English  words.  I  have  dropped 
all  the  phonetic  marks,  which  indicate  some  tonal  pecu- 
liarities in  certain  words  like  Tang  yiin,  feng,  etc., 
but  which  serve  only  to  mystify  a  non-initiate  like  my- 
self or  my  reader.  But  after  all  these  and  other 
things  I  have  done,  I  am  inclined  to  believe  that  my 
renderings  are  often  simpler  and  more  exact  than  other 
extant  versions,  which  I  have  studied  and  which  I  have 
listed  at  the  end  of  the  book. 

In  conclusion,  I  acknowledge  my  heavy  obligations 
to  all  my  European  and  American  precursors  in  the 
field  and  to  my  many  personal  friends  who  have  aided 
me  in  various  ways  during  these  years  of  protracted 
toil.  I  mention  specially  my  Chinese  friend,  Mr.  Yu- 
lan  Fung,  who  went  over  the  entire  manuscript  and 
furnished  me  with  valuable  criticism  and  corrections, 
and  also  Mr.  Lo  and  Mr.  Yang  who  did  for  me  the 
Chinese  titles  of  the  poems,  which  appear  at  the  margins 



of  the  succeeding  pages.  Finally  my  deepest  gratitude 
is  due  to  my  old  friend,  Arthur  Harcourt  Mountain, 
without  whose  enthusiastic  interest  and  frequent  com- 
panionship and  collaboration  this  book  might  have 
never  been  brought  to  completion. 

Shigeyoshi  Obatjl. 
February  3rd,  1922. 




Introduction  1 


1.  On  the  Ship  of  Spice-wood      ...  25 

2.  A  Summer  Day  ., 27 

3.  Nocturne      . 28 

4.  A  Farewell  Song  of  White  Clouds     .  29 

5.  The  Long-Departed  Lover     ....  30 

6.  Lady  Yang  Kuei-fei  at  the   Imperial 

Feast  of  the  Peony — I    ....     31 

7.  Lady  Yang  Kuei-fei  at   the   Imperial 

Feast  of  the  Peony — II   ....     32 

8.  Lady  Yang  Kuei-fei  at  the   Imperial 

Feast  of  the  Peony — III  ....     33 

9.  A  Poem  Composed  at  the  Imperial  Com- 

mand in  the  Spring  Garden,  while 
Looking  on  the  Newly  Green  Wil- 
lows by  the  Dragon  Pond  and  Listen- 
ing to  the  Hundred-fold  Notes  of 
the  Nightingales    .     .     .     .     .     .34 

10.  To  His  Friend  Departing  for  Shuh   .  36 

11.  To  His  Three  Friends     .....  37 

12.  Addressed  Humorously  to  Tu  Fu  .     .  39 

13.  On  a  Picture  Screen 40 

14.  On  Ascending  the  North  Tower  One 

Autumn  Day       .......     42 

15.  The  Summit  Temple    r.     .....    43 




Lao-lao  Ting,  a  Tavern   .     .     . 


.     44 


The  Night  of  Sorrow  .... 

.     45 


The  Sorrow  of  the  Jewel  Staircase  .    46 


The  Girl  of  Pa  Speaks  .... 

.     47 


The  Women  of  Yueh — I  .     .     . 

.     48 


The  Women  of  Yueh — II  .     .     . 

.     49 


The  Women  of  Yueh— III     .     . 

,     .     50 


The  Women  of  Yueh — IV   .     . 

.     .     51 


The  Women  of  Yueh — V       .     . 

.     52 


The  Solitude  of  Night   .     . 

,     .     53 


The  Monument  of  Tears      .     .     , 

.     54 


On  a  Quiet  Night 

.     55 


The  Blue  Water 

.     56 


The  Ching-ting  Mountain      .     . 

.     57 


With  a  Man  of  Leisure  .     .     .     , 

.     58 


The  Yo-Mei  Mountain  Moon      .     , 

.    M    59 


On  the  City  Street  .... 

.     60 


On  the  Death  of  the  Good  Brewer  of 
hsuan-cheng 61 


To  His  Wife 

.     62 


The  Poet  Thinks  of  His  Old  Home  . 

.     .     63 


Sorrow  of  the  Long  Gate  Palace — I    64 


Sorrow  of  the  Long  Gate  Palace 

—II    65 


An  Encounter  in  the  Field  .     .     . 

.     66 


To  Wang  Lun 

.     67 


On  Seeing  off  Meng  Hao-jan      .     . 

.     68 


On  Being  Asked  Who  He  is  .     .     . 

.     70 


In  the  Mountains  .    m    .     .     . 

.     71 



43.  The  Fair  Queen  of  Wu 72 

44.  While   Journeying 73 

45.  The  Ruin  of  the  Ku-su  Palace  ...  74 

46.  The  Ruin  of  the  Capital  of  Yueh  .     .  75 

47.  The  River  Journey  from  White  King 

City 76 

48.  By  the  Great  Wall— I 77 

49.  By  the  Great  Wall— II 78 

50.  The  Imperial  Concubine 79 

51.  Parting  at  Ching-men 80 

52.  On  the  Yo-yang  Tower  with  His  Friend, 

Chia 81 

53    Awakening    from    Sleep    on    a    Spring 

Day 82 

54.  Three  with  the  Moon  and  His  Shadow  .  83 

55.  An  Exhortation 84 

56.  The  Intruder 86 

57.  The  Crows  at  Nightfall 87 

58.  To  Meng  Hao-jan 88 

59.  To  Tung  Tsao-chiu 89 

60.  Takinc  Leave  of  a  Friend   ....  94 

61.  Maid  of  Wu 95 

62.  The  Lotus    .........  96 

63.  To  His  Two  Children 97 

64.  To  a  Friend  Going  Home 99 

65.  A  Mountain  Revelry 100 

66.  The  Old  Dust 101 

67.  A  Pair  of  Swallows 102 

68.  At  a  River  Town .103 




I  Am  a  Peach  Tree 




The  Silk  Spinner 



Chuang  Chou  and  the  Butterfly.     . 



The  Poet  Mourns  His  Japanese  Friend 



In  the  Spring-time  on  the  South  Side 
of  the  Yangtze  Kiang 



The  Steep  Road  to  Shuh     .     .     .     . 



Parting  at  a  Tavern  of  Chin-ling  .     . 



The  Phoenix  Bird  Tower 



His  Dream  of  the  Sky-land:    A  Fare- 
well Poem 



In  Memoriam 



On  the  Road  of  Ambition      .     .     .     . 



To  Tu  Fu  from  Sand  Hill  City  .     .     . 



A  Vindication .     . 



To  Luh,  the  Registrar 



To  the   Fisherman 



The  Tears  of  Banishment     .     .     .     . 



The  Lotus  Gatherer  ., 



The  Sport-Fellows 



The  Dancing  Girl  .; 



The  Rover  of  Chao 



To  His  Friend  at  Chiang-Hsia  .     .     . 



The  Cataract  of  Luh  Shan — I  .     .     . 



The  Cataract  of  Luh  Shan— II  .     .     . 



Bereft  of  Their  Love    >,     .     . 



Lady  Wang-chao — I 



Lady  Wang-chao— II 





95.  The  North  Wind 138 

96.  The  Borderland  Moon 140 

97.  The  Nefarious  War 141 

98.  Before  the  Cask  of  Wine   ....  143 

99.  Yuan  Tan-chiu  of  the  East  Mountain  144 

100.  Lines 145 

101.  The   Ballads  of  the  Four   Seasons — 

Spring 146 

102.  The  Ballads  of  the  Four  Seasons — 

Summer 148 

103.  The   Ballads  of  the  Four  Seasons — 

Autumn 149 

104.  The   Ballads  of  the   Four   Seasons — 

Winter 150 

105.  Two  Letters  from  Chanc-kan — I     .     .  151 

106.  Two  Letters  from  Chang-kan— II  .     .  153 

107.  On  Ascending  the  Sin-ping  Tower  .     .  155 

108.  On  Going  to  Visit  a  Taoist  Recluse  on 

Mount  Tai-tien,  but  Failing  to  Meet 
Him 156 

109.  At  the  Cell  of  an  Absent  Mountain 

Priest 157 

110.  On  a  Moonlight  Night 158 

111.  A  Visit  to  Yuan  Tan-chiu  in  the  Moun- 

tains     159 

112.  A  Midnight  Farewell 160 

113.  The  Song  of  Luh  Shan 161 

114.  To  His  .Wife  on  His  Departure — I  .     .  163 

115.  To  His  Wife  on  His  Departure— II  .     .  164 

116.  To  His  Wife  on  His  Departure— III  .     .  165 

117.  On  His  White  Hair 166 

118.  To  the  Honorable  Justice  Hsin  .     .     .  167 




119.  On  Hearing  the  Flute  in  the  Yellow 

Crane  House 168 

120.  On  Hearing  the  Flute  at  Lo-cheng  One 

Spring  Night 169 

121.  On  the  Tung-ting  Lake — I   .     .     .     .170 

122.  On  the  Tung-Ting  Lake— II  ....  171 

123.  To  His  Wife .  172 

124.  To   His   Friend,   Wei,   the   Good   Gov- 

ernor of  Chiang-hsia  Written  in 
Commemoration  of  the  Old  Friend- 
MENT AFTER  THE  TUMULT  OF  WAR   .       .173 

ING LI  PO  183 

125.  The  Eight  Immortals  of  the  Wine  Cup  185 

126.  The  Ex-minister 187 

127.  A  Visit  to  Fan  with  Li  Po  .     .     .     .  189 

128.  Parting  with  Li  Po  on  the  Tung-ting 

Lake 190 

129.  An  Invitation  to  Li  Po 191 

130.  To  Li  Po  on  a  Spring  Day     ....  193 

131.  To  Li  Po 194 

132.  The  Grave  of  Li  Po 195 



The  Preface  to  the  First  Edition  of 
the  Poetical  Works  of  Li  Tai-po  .  199 

Li   Po — A  Biography  by  Li  Hsu  .  .  204 

Li  Po — A  Biography  by  Sung  Chi  .  .  206 


Notes    on    Chinese    Texts   .     .     .  .213 

Translations  and  Works  on  Li  Po  .  .215 

Poems  of  Li  Po  Translated  in  This  Book  219 







At  the  early  dawn  of  medieval  Europe  China  had 
reached  the  noontide  of  her  civilization.  Indeed,  the 
three  hundred  years  of  the  Tang  dynasty  beginning  with 
the  seventh  century  witnessed  a  most  brilliant  era  of 
culture  and  refinement,  unsurpassed  in  all  the  annals 
of  the  Middle  Kingdom.  And  the  greatest  of  all  the 
artistic  attainments  of  this  period  was  in  literature,  and 
particularly  in  poetry.  There  were  no  dramatists;  no 
romancers;  but  only  poets — and  poets  there  were  galore. 

"In  this  age,"  remarks  a  native  critic,  "whoever  was 
a  man,  was  a  poet."  And  this  is  not  satire.  The 
"Anthology  of  the  Tang  Dynasty"  consists  of  nine  hun- 
dred Books  and  contains  more  than  forty-eight  thousand 
nine  hundred  poems  by  no  less  than  two  thousand 
three  hundred  poets.  Moreover,  since  this  collection 
was  compiled  as  late  as  the  eighteenth  century  by  order 
of  a  Manchu  emperor,  it  represents  only  a  meager  crop 
from  a  field  that  had  suffered  the  ruthless  ravages  of 
time  for  fully  a  thousand  years.  Imagine,  then,  the 
vast  efflorescence  of  what  must  have  been  veritably  a 
tropic  jungle  of  poesy! 

Now  a  person  may  consider  it  no  distinction  to  be 
counted  one  among  these  poets  when  the  list  is  so  large; 
but  to  be  picked  out  as  the  greatest  of  them  all — as  the 
leader  of  this  colossal  army  of  immortals,  is  certainly 
a  singular  distinction  and  honor.     And  this  honor  falls 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

to  Li  Po.  He,  by  almost  unanimous  consent,  is  re- 
garded as  the  greatest  poet  under  the  Tangs,  and  of 
China  of  all  times.  "He  is  the  lofty  peak  of  Tai,"  pro- 
claims an  admirer,  "towering  above  ten  thousand  moun- 
tains and  hills;  he  is  the  sun  in  whose  presence  a  million 
stars  of  heaven  lose  their  scintillating  splendor." 

Before  attempting  to  follow  the  poet's  career  in  de- 
tail, let  us  take  a  glance  at  China  as  it  was  under  the 
Tang  dynasty,  especially  under  the  famous  emperor 
Hsuan  Tsung,  who  was  one  time  patron  to  Li  Po,  and 
whose  long  and  illustrious  reign,  ending  with  his  tragic 
fall,  marks  the  golden  age  of  Chinese  poetry. 


The  Tangs  came  to  power  in  the  early  decades  of  the 
seventh  century  when  Mahomet  was  just  starting  out  on 
his  first  campaigns.  Tai  Tsung,  the  second  emperor 
of  the  dynasty,  in  the  twenty-three  years  of  his  reign 
(627-650)  consolidated  the  hostile  sections  of  the 
country  and  laid  a  firm  foundation  for  his  empire, 
which  he  greatly  expanded  by  conquering  Tibet  and  sub- 
duing the  Tartar  tribes  of  the  Mongolian  desert.  Wu 
Hu — an  empress  (684-704) — has  been  much  maligned 
for  usurping  the  male  prerogative  of  sovereignty;  but 
she  was  undoubtedly  one  of  China's  ablest  rulers  and  did 
more  than  uphold  the  prestige  of  her  land  during  the 
last  quarter  of  the  century.  Then  followed  shortly 
Hsuan  Tsung,  who  ascended  the  dragon  throne  in  713 
and  ruled  for  forty-two  years. 

It  was  an  age  of  great  political  power  for  China. 
Her  suzeraignty  extended  from  Siberia  to  the  Himalaya 
mountain  range,  and  from  Korea  to  the  Caspian  Sea. 



Tributes  were  paid  by  India  and  Tonkin.  The  Caliphs 
of  Medina  sent  precious  stones,  horses,  and  spice.  From 
the  Japanese  capital,  Nara,  came  envoys  and  students 
at  frequent  intervals,  while  once,  in  643,  from  far 
Greece  Emperor  Theodosius  despatched  a  mission  to 
the  court  of  Cathay. 

It  was  an  age  of  prosperity.  The  fertile  valleys  of 
the  Yellow  River  and  the  Yangtze-kiang  were  turned 
into  fields  of  rice,  barley  and  waving  corn,  amid  gleam- 
ing streams  and  lakes.  Peace  reigned  in  China  proper 
— the  vast  domain  that  had  once  been  torn  up  and  made 
desolate  by  internecine  wars  during  the  four  centuries 
of  the  Three  Kingdoms  and  the  Six  Dynasties.  Even 
in  the  remotest  rural  district,  the  wine- pennant,  a  tavern 
sign,  was  seen  flying  on  the  roadside,  denoting  the  pres- 
ence of  tranquillity  and  good  cheer,  while  large  cities 
like  Lo-yang  (i.  e.  Honan-fu,  Honan)  and  Chin-ling 
(i.e.  Nanking,  Kiansu)  flourished  immensely  with  in- 
creasing trade  and  travel. 

Chang-an,  the  present  city  of  Hsian-fu  in  Shensi,  was 
the  capital  and  the  wonder  of  the  age.  The  city  was 
never  so  rich,  splendid,  and  spendthrift.  "See  ye," 
proudly  sings  a  poet,  "the  splendor  of  the  imperial 
abode,  and  know  the  majesty  of  the  Son  of  Heaven!" 
Beside  the  main  castle  with  its  nine-fold  gates,  there 
were  thirty-six  imperial  palaces  that  reared  over  the 
city  their  resplendent  towers  and  pillars  of  gold,  while 
innumerable  mansions  and  villas  of  noblemen  vied  with 
one  another  in  magnificence.  By  day  the  broad  ave- 
nues were  thronged  with  motley  crowds  of  townfolk, 
gallants  on  horseback,  and  mandarin  cars  drawn  by 
yokes  of  black  oxen.  And  there  were  countless  houses 
of  pleasure,  which  opened  their  doors  by  night,   and 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

which  abounded  in  song,  dance,  wine  and  pretty  women 
with  faces  like  the  moon. 

It  was  also  an  age  of  religious  proselytism.  Bud- 
dhism had  been  in  China  for  centuries  before  the  Tang 
dynasty,  and  the  country  was  dotted  with  monasteries 
and  pagodas.  It  was  in  the  reign  of  Tai  Tsung  that 
Yuen  Tsang,  a  Buddhist  priest,  made  his  famous  pilgrim- 
age to  India  and  brought  back  several  hundred  volumes 
of  Sanscrit  sutras.  While  Confucianism  remained  os- 
tensibly the  guiding  principle  of  state  and  social  mo- 
rality, Taoism  had  gathered  a  rich  incrustation  of  my- 
thology and  superstition  and  was  fast  winning  a  follow- 
ing of  both  the  court  and  the  common  people.  Laotzu, 
the  founder  of  the  religion,  was  claimed  by  the  reign- 
ing dynasty  as  its  remote  progenitor  and  was  honored 
with  an  imperial  title.  In  636  the  Nestorian  mission- 
aries were  allowed  to  settle  in  Chang-an  and  erect  their 
church.  They  were  followed  by  Zoroastrians,  and  even 
Saracens  who  entered  the  Chinese  capital  with  their 
sword  in  sheath. 

Thus  Chang-an  became  not  only  the  center  of  religious 
proselytism,  but  also  a  great  cosmopolitan  city  where 
Syrians,  Arabs,  Persians,  Tartars,  Tibetans,  Koreans, 
Japanese  and  Tonkinese  and  other  peoples  of  widely 
divergent  races  and  faiths  lived  side  by  side,  presenting 
a  remarkable  contrast  to  the  ferocious  religious  and 
racial  strife  then  prevailing  in  Europe.  Again,  in 
Chang-an  there  were  colleges  of  various  grades,  beside 
special  institutes  for  caligraphy,  arithmetic  and  music. 
Astronomy  was  encouraged  by  Tai  Tsung,  who  also 
filled  the  imperial  library  with  more  than  two  hundred 
thousand  books.    Hsuan  Tsung  saw  to  it  that  there  was 



a  school  in  every  village  in  the  fifteen  provinces  of  his 

Hsuan  Tsung  himself  was  regarded  as  a  perfect  prince, 
wise  and  valiant,  a  sportsman  accomplished  in  all 
knightly  exercises  and  a  master  of  all  elegant  arts. 
Being  a  musician,  he  established  in  his  palace  an 
operatic  school,  called  the  "Pear  Garden,"  at  which 
both  male  and  female  actors  were  trained,  and  in  which 
historians  find  the  prototype  of  the  modern  Chinese 
drama.  The  emperor  surrounded  himself  with  a  bril- 
liant court  of  poets,  artists,  and  beautiful  women.  Odes 
were  offered  him  by  Li  Po  and  Tu  Fu ;  Li  Kuei-nien  sang 
at  his  bidding,  while  Yang  Kuei-fei,  the  loveliest  of  the 
three  thousand  palace  ladies,  ever  accompanied  his 
palanquin.  Although  in  his  latter  years  he  indulged  in 
all  sorts  of  extravagant  revelry,  he  was  never  vulgar. 
It  is  fitting  that  he  is  still  remembered  by  the  name 
of  Ming  Huang — the  "Illustrious  Sovereign." 

But  in  order  to  complete  the  picture  of  this  era  there 
is  a  darker  side,  which  really  brought  into  full  play 
the  spiritual  energies  of  the  Chinese  race.  Within,  the 
court,  from  the  very  beginning  of  the  dynasty,  was  upset 
more  than  once  by  the  bloody  intrigues  of  princes  and 
princesses  who  coveted  the  imperial  crown.  Without, 
China  had  her  Vandals  and  Goths  and  Franks,  to  whom 
her  wealth  and  splendor  offered  irresistible  temptation 
to  pillage.  The  border  warfare  never  ceased,  and  not 
without  many  a  serious  reverse  for  the  imperial  forces, 
which  made  forays  in  retaliation,  often  far  into  the 
hostile  territories,  losing  their  men  by  thousands.  Tai 
Tsung's  Korean  expedition  was  nothing  but  a  gigantic 
fiasco,  and  the  conquest  of  that  peninsula  was  completed 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

by  generals  of  the  Empress,  Wu  Hu.  But  in  her  reign 
the  Kitans,  a  redoubtable  foe,  appeared  on  the  northern 
border.  In  the  west  the  restive  and  warlike  Tibetans 
could  not  be  wholly  pacified  by  political  marriages, 
in  which  the  imperial  princesses  were  bestowed  on  the 
barbarian  chieftains  from  time  to  time.  The  armies  of 
Hsuan  Tsung  were  most  unfortunate.  In  751  thirty 
thousand  men  perished  in  the  desert  of  Gobi;  while  in 
the  campaigns  in  Yunnan  against  the  southern  barbar- 
ians the  Chinese  lost,  it  is  said,  two  hundred  thousand 
men.  Finally  came  the  rebellion  of  An  Lu-shan,  which 
like  a  storm  swept  the  mid-imperial  plains,  drenched 
them  in  blood,  and  left  the  empire  tottering  on  the  brink 
of  ruin. 

An  Lu-shan  was  a  soldier  of  the  Kitan  race,  who  dis- 
tinguished himself  in  fighting  against  his  own  tribes, 
and  who  won  the  favor  of  Yang  Kuei-fei  and  the  confi- 
dence of  Hsuan  Tsung.  His  promotion  was  rapid.  He 
was  ennobled  as  a  duke,  and  made  the  governor  of  the 
border  provinces  of  the  north,  where  he  held  under  com- 
mand the  best  armies  of  the  empire  and  nursed  an  in- 
ordinate ambition,  biding  his  time.  Meanwhile  at  the 
court,  the  blind  love  of  Hsuan  Tsung  for  Yang  Kuei-fei 
was  corrupting  the  government.  Her  brother  Yang 
Kuo-chung  was  appointed  prime-minister,  while  eu- 
nuchs held  high  offices  of  state.  At  last  in  the  spring  of 
755,  An  Lu-shan,  under  the  pretext  of  ridding  the  court 
of  Yang  Kuo-chung,  raised  the  standard  of  rebellion. 
He  quickly  captured  the  city  of  Lo-yang,  occupied  the 
entire  territory  north  of  the  Yellow  River,  comprising 
the  provinces  of  Shansi  and  Chili,  and  was  soon  march- 
ing eastward  on  Chang-an.  He  had  proclaimed  him- 
self the  Emperor  of  the  Great  Yen  dynasty. 



"Is  it  possible!"  exclaimed  Hsuan  Tsung,  now  an 
aged  monarch,  in  amazement  at  the  ingratitude  of  his 
vassal  and  at  the  impending  catastrophe.  The  defense 
at  the  Pass  of  Tung  Kwan  collapsed.  The  emperor 
was  forced  to  flee  from  the  capital  one  rainy  morning, 
with  his  favorite  mistress  and  a  handful  of  his  faithful 
servants.  The  soldiers  escorting  Hsuan  Tsung  blamed 
Yang  Kuo-chung  for  the  disaster,  and  he  and  all  his 
kin  were  massacred.  Yang  Kuei-fei  herself  did  not  es- 
cape. She  was  ruthlessly  snatched  from  the  arms  of 
her  imperial  lover,  and  was  strangled  and  buried  on 
the  roadside  without  ceremony.  The  emperor  abdicated 
in  favor  of  his  son,  and  proceeded  mournfully  to 
Ssuchuan,  the  land  of  Shuh. 

The  new  emperor,  Su  Tsung,  mustered  a  strong  army 
under  General  Kuo  Tsu-i  to  oppose  the  foes.  Confusion 
was  added  by  the  revolt  of  Prince  Ling,  the  sixteenth 
son  of  Hsuan  Tsung,  who  challenged  the  authority  of 
his  brother  from  his  stronghold  in  the  southern  prov- 
inces, though  this  uprising  was  promptly  suppressed. 
An  Lu-shan  was  driven  from  Chang-an  in  757,  and  was 
shortly  murdered  by  his  own  son,  who  was  in  turn  killed 
by  An  Lu-shan's  general,  Shi  Ssu-ming,  another  Kitan 
Tartar,  who  assumed  the  imperial  title  and  retained  the 
northern  provinces  in  his  iron  grip.  But  Shi  Ssu-ming 
himself  was  soon  assassinated  by  his  son,  and  the  re- 
bellion came  finally  to  an  end  in  762.  We  need  not 
follow  the  history  longer.  In  that  very  year  the  former 
emperor,  Hsuan  Tsung,  who  had  returned  from  exile 
to  a  lonely  palace  in  Chang-an,  died,  broken-hearted. 

Such  was  the  era.  It  had,  on  the  one  hand,  internal 
peace,  prosperity,  cosmopolitan  culture,  profuse  hospi- 
talities and  literary  patronage;    on  the  other,   distant 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

wars,  court  intrigues  and,  finally,  the  national  catas- 
trophe with  its  tragic  drama  of  stupendous  magnitude, 
that  brought  forth  Li  Po  and  his  race  of  poets,  kindled 
their  imagination,  and  touched  their  heart-strings  to  im- 
mortal song. 


The  ancestry  of  Li  Po  is  traced  back  through  the 
obscurity  of  many  generations  to  Li  Kao  of  the  fifth 
century,  who  ruled  the  Liang  State,  or  the  western  por- 
tion of  what  is  now  the  province  of  Kansu.  The  family 
dwelt  in  exile  for  a  period  in  the  Mongolian  desert  land. 
The  poet  himself  writes  of  his  being  "Originally  a  cot- 
ten-clothed  of  Lunhsi."  That  is  to  say,  he  was  a  plain 
citizen  of  a  district  in  Kansu.  But  he  was  born,  ac- 
cording to  best  authorities,  in  the  adjoining  land  of 
Shuh,  or  the  present  Ssuchuan — that  picturesque  west- 
ern province  of  mountains  and  tumbling  waters  which 
flow  into  the  great  Yangtze-kiang. 

As  to  the  year  of  his  birth,  biographers  again  differ. 
Some  maintain  it  to  have  been  as  early  as  699,  while 
others  would  have  it  as  late  as  705,  with  consequent 
variation  in  his  age,  since  he  died,  as  all  agree,  in  the 
year  762.  A  biographical  calendar,  compiled  by  Sieh 
Chung-yung  of  the  Sung  dynasty,  places  the  poet's  birth 
in  the  second  year  of  the  Shen-lung  era;  while  another 
calendar  by  Wang-chi  of  the  Ming  dynasty,  who  edited 
the  complete  works  of  Li  Po,  fixes  the  year  as  the  first 
of  the  Chang-an  era.  All  evidence  seems  to  favor  the 
latter  date,  which  falls  in  the  year  of  701. 

On  the  night  of  the  poet's  birth  his  mother  dreamed 
of  the  planet  of  Chang-keng,  which  is  Venus,  and  which 
is   popularly  known  in   China   as   the   Tai-po  Hsing, 



meaning  literally  the  Great  White  Star,  Thus  it  was 
that  he  was  named  Po  (the  White  One),  and  surnamed 
Tai-po  (the  Great  White  One).  Later  he  dubbed  him- 
self the  Green  Lotus  Man,  borrowing  the  name  from 
a  Buddhist  saint ;  and  sometimes  went  by  the  self-evident 
designation  of  the  "Old  Wine  Genius." 

When  a  boy  of  six  Li  Po  could  read,  and  by  the  age 
of  ten  he  had  mastered  the  Confucian  books  of  the  Odes 
and  the  History  and  miscellaneous  classics  by  a  hundred 
writers,  and  was  composing  poems  of  his  own.  While 
he  was  still  in  his  teens,  he  retired  with  a  recluse  by  the 
name  of  Tunyen-tzu  to  the  mountain  of  Min  in  north- 
ern Ssuchuan.  Here  the  two  men  kept  strange  birds 
as  pets  and  succeeded  in  taming  them  to  feed  from  their 
hands,  the  report  of  which  brought  to  their  hermitage 
the  local  magistrate,  who  invited  them  to  enter  the 
government  service.  But  they  declined.  Our  young 
poet  sang  contentedly: 

For  twenty  springs  I've  lain  among  the  clouds, 
Loving  leisure  and  enamored  of  the  hills. 

In  721  he  traveled  .down  the  Yangtze  to  Yun-meng, 
the  land  of  seven  moors,  that  lies  to  the  north  of  the  river 
and  the  Tung-ting  Lake;  here  he  was  married  to  a  grand- 
daughter of  a  certain  ex-minister  Hsu,  and  stayed  there 
for  three  years. 

Then  he  moved  up  north  to  Shantung,  and  made  his 
home  in  Jen-cheng  and  elsewhere.  "I  am  thirty,"  he 
wrote  to  a  friend,  "I,  make  verses  without  tiring,  while 
in  front  of  my  house  carts  and  horses  go  by."  Years 
passed  without  any  visible  achievement.  One  cannot 
blame  too  harshly  his  first  wife  who,  impatient  of  the 
lack  of  his  promotion,  left  him  with  the  children.     It 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

was  during  this  period  that  he  became  one  of  the  "Six 
Idlers  of  the  Bamboo  Valley"  who  gathered  in  the  moun- 
tain of  Chu-lai  for  the  jolly  fellowship  of  wine  and 
song.  He  traveled  extensively,  too.  Once  he  was  in 
the  city  of  Lo-yang,  enjoying  the  lavish  hospitality  of 
Tung  Tsas-chiu,  who  had  a  special  wine  house  built  for 
the  poet  at  the  Tien-tsin  bridge-head,  where 

Songs  were  bought  with  yellow  gold,  and  laughter  with 
white  jewels. * 

Later  the  same  host  invited  the  poet  to  Ping-chou  near 
Taiyuan-fu  in  Shansi,  where  Tung's  father  was  stationed 
as  the  military  commander.  Here  the  two  companions 
went  on  happy  excursions,  taking  singing-girls  out  on 
the  river  by  the  dynastic  shrine  of  Chin.  It  was  in 
Ping-chou  that  the  poet  befriended  Kuo  Tsu-i,  who  was 
still  a  young  soldier  in  the  ranks,  but  who  was  later  to 
become  the  savior  of  the  empire  as  well  as  of  the  poet's 
life.  In  the  year  738  Li  Po  was  back  in  Shantung  when 
Tu  Fu,  his  one  great  and  formidable  rival  in  poetic 
fame,  arrived  in  the  province  and  met  him.  At  once 
a  warm  friendship  and  exchange  of  poems  began  that 
lasted  lifelong,  and  that  makes  the  happiest  and  most 
memorable  chapter  in  China's  literary  history.  Tu  Fu 
was  the  younger  of  the  two.  They  slept  together  under 
one  coverlet  (so  he  tells  us  in  one  of  his  poems),  and 
went  hand  in  hand  like  two  brothers.2 

Li  Po  traveled  south  to  the  lands  of  Wu  and  Yueh 
of  old  to  wander  amid  the  ruins  of  once  glorious  pal- 
aces and  among  the  lakes  of  lotus  lilies,  and  chose  to 
i       ■ 

iSee  No.  59 
2  See  No.  127 



sojourn  in  a  district  called  Yen,  in  Chehkiang,  famous 
for  the  beauty  of  its  hills  and  valleys.  Here  he  met  Wu 
Yun,  scholar  and  Taoist,  who  on  being  summoned  to 
court  took  Li  Po  with  him  to  Chang-an,  the  capital  of 
the  empire. 

It  was  about  the  year  742  that  Li  Po  entered  Chang-an, 
the  golden  metropolis,  when  the  long  prosperous  years 
of  the  Tien-pao  era  had  just  begun,  and  the  court  of 
Hsuan  Tsung  had  reached  the  pinacle  of  brilliance. 
Li  Po  went  to  see  Ho  Chi-chang,  a  guest  of  the  crown 
prince,  and  showed  his  poems.  The  jovial  courtier  was 
so  pleased  that  he  bartered  his  gold  ornament  for  wine 
and  entertained  the  new-comer.  Moreover,  he  com- 
mended the  poet  to  the  emperor.  "I  have  in  my  house," 
he  said,  "probably  the  greatest  poet  that  ever  existed. 
I  have  not  dared  to  speak  of  him  to  your  Majesty  be- 
cause of  his  one  defect,  which  is  rather  difficult  to  cor- 
rect: he  drinks,  and  drinks  sometimes  to  excess.  But 
his  poems  are  beautiful.  Judge  them  for  yourself, 
sire!"  So  saying,  he  thrust  in  Hsuan  Tsung's  hand  a 
bundle  of  manuscript.  "Fetch  me  the  author  of  these 
poems!"  spoke  the  emperor  instantly — so  runs  one  story. 

But  according  to  other  versions  it  was  Wu  Yun,  or 
Princess  Yu-chen,  who  introduced  Li  Po  to  the  court. 
At  any  rate,  the  poet  was  given  an  audience  in  the  Hall 
of  Gold  Bells.  His  discourse  and  ode  at  once  won  the 
admiration  of  the  emperor,  so  that  he  feasted  the  poet 
at  the  Table  of  the  Seven  Jewels  and  assigned  him  to 
the  Han-ling  Academy.  That  is,  Li  Po  was  placed  un- 
der imperial  patronage,  without  any  special  duties  but 
to  write  occasional  poems,  of  which  the  ninth  piece  in 
the  present  book  is  an  example. 

He  banqueted  with  lords  and  ladies  in  and  out  of  the 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

court,  and  sought  frequently  the  taverns  of  the  city. 
But  who  were  his  boon  companions?  A  vivid  portrayal 
of  that  much  celebrated  company,  the  "Eight  Immortals 
of  the  Wine-cup,"  whose  revels  were  the  talk  of 
Chang-an,  is  happily  preserved  for  us  in  an  equally  cele- 
brated poem  by  Tu  Fu. 

Chi-chang  rides  his  horse,  but  reels 

As  on  a  reeling  ship. 
Should  he,  blear-eyed,  tumble  into  a  well, 

He  would  lie  in  the  bottom,  fast  asleep. 
Ju-yang  Prince  must  have  three  jugfuls 

Ere  he  goes  up  to  court. 
How  copiously  his  royal  mouth  waters 

As  a  brewer's  cart  passes  by! 
It's  a  pity,  he  mournfully  admits, 

That  he  is  not  the  lord  of  Wine  Spring. 
Our  minister  Li  squanders  at  the  rate 

Of  ten  thousand  tsen  per  day; 
He  inhales  like  a  great  whale, 

Gulping  one  hundred  rivers; 
And  with  a  cup  in  his  hand  insists, 

He  loves  the  Sage  and  avoids  the  Wise. 
Tsung-chi  a  handsome  youth,  fastidious, 

Disdains  the  rabble, 
But  turns  his  gaze  toward  the  blue  heaven, 

Holding  his  beloved  bowl. 
Radiant  is  he  like  a  tree  of  jade, 

That  stands  against  the  breeze. 
Su  Chin,  the  religious,  cleanses  his  soul 

Before  his  painted  Buddha. 
But  his  long  rites  must  needs  be  interrupted 

As  oft  he  loves  to  go  on  a  spree. 
As  for  Li  Po,  give  him  a  jugful, 

He  will  write  one  hundred  poems. 
He  drowses  in  a  wine-shop 


On  a  city  street  of  Chang-an; 
And  though  his  sovereign  calls, 

He  will  not  board  the  imperial  barge. 
"Please  your  Majesty,"  says  he, 
"I  am  a  god  of  wine." 
Chang  Hsu  is  a  caligrapher  of  renown, 

Three  cups  makes  him  the  master. 
He  throws  off  his  cap,  baring  his  pate 

Unceremoniously  before  princes, 
And  wields  his  inspired  brush,  and  lo! 

Wreaths  of  cloud  roll  on  the  paper. 
Chao  Sui,  another  immortal,  elate 

After  full  five  jugfuls, 
Is  eloquent  of  heroic  speech — 

The  wonder  of  all  the  feasting  hall. 

One  day  in  spring  Hsuan  Tsung  with  Lady  Yang 
Kuei-fei  held  a  royal  feast  in  the  Pavilion  of  Aloes. 
The  tree-peonies  of  the  garden,  newly  imported  from 
India,  were  in  full  flower  as  if  in  rivalry  of  beauty  with 
the  emperor's  voluptuous  mistress.  There  were  the  mu- 
sicians of  the  Pear  Garden  and  the  wine  of  grapes 
from  Hsi-liang.  Li  Po  was  summoned,  for  only  his 
art  could  capture  for  eternity  the  glory  of  the  vanish- 
ing hours.  But  when  brought  to  the  imperial  presence, 
the  poet  was  drunk.  Court  attendants  threw  cold  water 
on  his  face  and  handed  him  a  writing  brush.  Where- 
upon he  improvised  those  three  beautiful  songs 3  in  rap- 
turous praise  of  Yang  Kuei-fei,  which  were  sung  by  the 
famous  vocalist,  Li  Kuei-nien,  while  the  emperor  him- 
self played  the  tune  on  a  flute  of  jade. 

But  it  was  one  of  these  very  songs,4  according  to  a 
widely  accepted  tradition,  that  helped  cut  short  the  gay 

3  See  No.  6,  7,  &  8. 

4  See  No.  7 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

and  prodigal  career  of  the  poet  at  the  court.  Kao  Li- 
shih,  the  powerful  eunuch,  who  had  heen  greatly  humili- 
ated by  having  been  ordered  to  pull  off  Li  Po's  shoes 
once  as  the  latter  became  drunk  at  the  palace,  per- 
suaded Yang  Kuei-fei  that  the  poet  had  intended  a  ma- 
licious satire  in  his  poem  by  comparing  her  with  Lady 
Flying  Swallow,  who  was  a  famous  court  beauty  of  the 
Han  dynasty,  but  who  was  unfaithful  and  never  attained 
the  rank  of  empress.  This  was  enough  to  turn  gratitude 
to  venomous  hate,  and  Yang  Kuei-fei  interfered  when- 
ever the  emperor  sought  to  appoint  the  poet  to  office. 
There  is  another  tradition  that  Li  Po  incurred  the  dis- 
pleasure of  Hsuan  Tsung  through  the  intrigue  of  a 
fellow  courtier.  This  story  is  also  plausible.  Li  Po 
was  not  the  sort  of  man  fitted  for  the  highly  artificial 
life  of  the  court,  where  extreme  urbanity,  tact  and  dis- 
simulation, were  essential  to  success.  He  soon  ex- 
pressed a  desire  to  return  to  the  mountains;  and  the 
emperor  presented  him  with  a  purse  and  allowed  him  to 
depart.  He  was  then  forty-five  years  old,  and  had  so- 
journed in  the  capital  for  three  years. 

Once  more  Li  Po  took  to  the  roads.  He  wandered 
about  the  country  for  ten  years,  "now  sailing  one  thou- 
sand li  in  a  day,  now  tarrying  a  whole  year  at  a  place, 
enjoying  the  beauty  thereof."  He  went  up  northeast 
to  Chinan-fu  of  Shantung  to  receive  the  Taoist  diploma 
from  the  "high  heavenly  priest  of  Pei-hai."  He  jour- 
neyed south  and  met  Tsui  Tsung-chi,  the  handsome  Im- 
mortal of  the  Wine-cup,  who  had  been  banished  from 
the  capitol  and  was  an  official  at  the  city  of  Nanking. 
The  old  friendship  was  renewed,  and  withal  the  glad 
old  time.  It  is  related  that  one  moonlight  night  they 
took  a  river  journey  down  the  Yangtze  from  Tsai-hsi 



to  Nanking,  during  which  Li  Po  arrayed  himself  in 
palace  robes  and  sat  in  the  boat,  laughing  aloud,  and 
rolling  his  frenzied  eyes.  Was  it  the  laughter  of  wanton 
revelry,  or  of  self-derision,  or  of  haughty  scorn  at  the 
foolish  world  that  could  not  fathom  his  soul?  In  754 
Wei  Hao,  a  young  friend  of  his,  came  to  meet  him  at 
Kuang-ling,  Kiangsu  Province,  and  traveled  with  him 
a  while.  To  him  Li  Po  entrusted  a  bundle  of  his 
poems,  saying,  "Pray  remember  your  old  man!  Surely 
in  the  future  I'll  acquire  a  great  fame." 

Next  year,  in  March  of  755,  we  discover  him  fleeing 
from  the  city  of  Lo-yang  amid  the  confusion  of  the  war 
of  An  Lu-shan,  whose  troops  occupied  the  city  and  made 
the  waters  of  the  Lo  River  flow  crimson  with  blood.  The 
poet  went  down  to  the  province  of  Chehkiang,  and  finally 
retired  to  the  mountains  of  Luh  near  Kiu-kiang  in 
Kiangsi  Province.  When  Li  Ling,  the  Prince  of  Yung,  be- 
came the  governor-general  of  the  four  provinces  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Yangtze,  Li  Po  joined  his  staff.  But  the  sub- 
sequent revolt  and  the  quick  fall  of  the  Prince  in  757  lead 
to  imprisonment  of  the  poet  at  the  city  of  Kiu-kiang,  with 
a  sentence  of  death  hanging  over  him.  On  examination 
of  the  case  officials  were  inclined  to  leniency.  One  of 
them,  Sung  Ssu-jo,  recommended  the  emperor  not  only 
to  pardon  Li  Po  but  to  give  him  a  high  place  in  the  gov- 
ernment service.  But  the  memorial,  which  by  the  way 
had  been  written  by  Li  Po  himself  at  Sung's  direction, 
failed  to  reach  its  destination.  Then  Kuo  Tsu-i,  now  a 
popular  hero  with  his  brilliant  war  record,  came  to 
the  rescue;  he  petitioned  that  Li  Po's  life  might  be  ran- 
somed with  his  own  rank  and  title.  The  white  head  of 
the  poet  was  saved,  and  he  was  sentenced  to  perpetual 
banishment  at  Yeh-lang — the  extreme  southwest  region 


Ld  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

of  the  empire  covered  by  the  present  province  of  Yun- 

He  proceeded  westward  up  the  river  leisurely.  There 
seems  to  have  been  little  pressure  from  the  central  gov- 
ernment, certainly  no  inclination  on  the  part  of  the 
poet,  to  expedite  the  journey.  At  Wu-chang  he  was  wel- 
comed by  the  local  governor  Wei,  with  whom  he  spent 
months  and  climbed  the  Yellow  Crane  House  three  times. 
Further  up  he  encountered  Chia-chi,  his  former  compan- 
ion at  Chang-an,  and  Li  Hua,  a  kinsman  of  his.  These 
two  had  also  been  demoted  and  dismissed  from  the 
capital.  The  three  luckless  men  now  joined  in  a  boat 
party  more  than  once  on  the  Tung-ting  Lake  under  the 
clear  autumn  moon.  That  these  were  not  so  lugubrious 
affairs  after  all  is  attested  by  their  poems.6  After  such 
delays  and  digressions  Li  Po  sailed  up  the  Yangtze 
through  the  Three  Gorges  and  arrived  in  Wu-shan,  Ssu- 
chuan,  in  759,  when  amnesty  was  declared. 

It  was  as  if  warmth  enlivened  the  frozen  vale, 
And  fire  and  flame  had  sprung  from  dead  ashes.  6 

The  old  poet  started  homeward,  resting  a  while  at 
Yo-chou  and  Chiang-hsia,  and  returning  to  Kiu-kiang 
again.  He  visited  Nanking  once  more  in  761;  and  next 
year  went  to  live  with  his  kinsman,  Li  Yang-ping,  who 
was  magistrate  of  Tang-tu,  the  present  city  of  Taiping 
in  Anhwei.     Here  in  the  same  year  he  sickened  and  died. 

A  legend  has  it  that  Li  Po  was  drowned  in  the  river 
near  Tsai-shih  as  he  attempted,  while  drunken,  to  em- 
brace the  reflection  of  the  moon  in  the  water.    This  was 

5  See  No.  52,  121,  122,  &  128. 

6  See  No.  124 



further  elaborated  into  a  tale,  which  was  translated  by 
Theodore  Pa  vie.  This  story,  quoted  by  d'Hervey  Saint 
Denys,  is  altogether  too  beautiful  to  omit.  I  retrans- 
late the  passage  from  the  French: 

"The  moon  that  night  was  shining  like  day.  Li  Tai-po 
was  supping  on  the  river  when  all  of  a  sudden  there 
was  heard  in  the  mid-air  a  concert  of  harmonious  voices, 
which  sounded  nearer  and  nearer  to  the  boat.  Then, 
the  water  rose  in  a  great  tumult,  and  lo!  there  appeared 
in  front  of  Li  Tai-po  dolphins  which  stood  on  their 
tails,  waving  their  fins,  and  two  children  of  immortal- 
ity carrying  in  their  hands  the  banners  to  indicate  the 
way.  They  had  come  in  behalf  of  the  lord  of  the 
heavens  to  invite  the  poet  to  return  and  resume  his 
place  in  the  celestial  realm.  His  companions  on  the 
boat  saw  the  poet  depart,  sitting  on  the  back  of  a  dol- 
phin while  the  harmonious  voices  guided  the  cortege .... 
Soon  they  vanished  altogether  in  the  mist." 

As  to  Li  Po's  family  and  domestic  life  the  curiosity 
of  the  western  mind  has  to  go  unsatisfied.  The  Chinese 
biographers  never  bother  about  such  trivialities  of  a 
man's  private  affairs.  The  Old  and  the  New  Books  of 
Tang  are  both  totally  silent.  Only  in  his  preface  to 
the  collection  of  the  poet's  works  Wei  Hao  remarks: 

fi4Po  first  married  a  Hsu  and  had  a  daughter  and  a  son, 
who  was  called  the  Boy  of  the  Bright  Moon.  The 
daughter  died  after  her  marriage.  Po  also  took  to  wife 
a  Liu.  The  Liu  was  divorced,  and  he  next  was  united 
to  a  woman  of  Luh,  by  whom  he  had  a  child,  named 
Po-li.     He  finally  married  a  Sung." 

Hsu,  Liu,  and  Sung  are  all  family  names  of  the  women 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

who  were  successively  married  to  Li  Po.  Of  his  several 
poems  extant,  addressed  to  his  "wife,"  it  is  difficult  to 
tell  just  which  one  is  meant  in  each  case.  From  a  poem  7 
written  to  his  children  we  learn  that  the  girl's  name  was 
Ping-yang,  and  the  son  whom  Wei  Hao  refers  to  by  the 
unusual  nickname  of  the  "Boy  of  the  Bright  Moon,"  was 
called  Po-chin.  Of  the  third  child,  Po-li,  mentioned  by 
Wei  Hao,  there  is  no  reference  elsewhere.  Po-chin  died 
without  having  obtained  any  official  appointment  in  793. 
His  one  son  wandered  away  from  home;  while  his  two 
daughters  were  married  to  peasants. 

Although  Li  Po  had  expressed  his  desire  of  making  the 
Green  Hill  at  a  short  distance  southeast  of  Taiping-fu 
his  last  resting  place,  he  was  buried  at  the  "East  Base" 
of  the  Dragon  Hill.  His  kinsman,  Li  Hua,  wrote  the 
inscription  on  his  tombstone.  Twenty-nine  years  after 
the  poet's  death  a  governor  of  Tang-tu  set  up  a  monu- 
ment. But  by  the  second  decade  of  the  ninth  century 
when  another  £reat  poet,  Po  Chu-i,  came  to  visit  the 
grave,  he  found  it  in  the  grass  of  a  fallow  field.  About 
the  same  time  Fan  Chuan-cheng,  inspector  of  these  dis- 
tricts, discovered  the  "burial  mound  three  feet  high,  fast 
crumbling  away";  he  located  the  two  grandaughters  of 
Li  Po  among  the  peasantry,  and  on  learning  the  true 
wish  of  the  poet,  removed  the  grave  to  the  north  side  of 
the  Green  Hill  and  erected  two  monuments  in  January 

of  818. 


The  Old  Book  of  Tang  says  that  Li  Po  "possessed  a 
superior  talent,  a  great  and  tameless  spirit,  and  fantasti- 

*  See  No.  63 



cal  ways  of  the  transcendent  mind."     In  modern  termi- 
nology he  was  a  romanticist. 

Like  Wordsworth  he  sought  the  solitude  of  hills  and 
lakes.  But  he  was  a  lover  rather  than  a  worshipper  of 
Nature.  He  was  "enamored  of  the  hills,"  he  says.  To 
him  the  cloud-girt  peak  of  Luh  Shan,  or  the  hollow  glen 
of  autumn,  was  not  a  temple  but  a  home  where  he  felt 
most  at  ease  and  free  to  do  as  he  pleased — where  he 
drank,  sang,  slept,  and  meditated.  He  spent  a  large 
part  of  his  life  out  of  doors,  on  the  roads,  among  the 
flowering  trees,  and  under  the  stars,  writing  his  innumer- 
able poems,  which  are  the  spontaneous  utterances  of  his 
soul,  responding,  to  the  song  of  a  mango  bird  or  to  the 
call  of  far  waterfalls.  And  his  intimate  Nature-feeling 
gained  him  admission  to  a  world  other  than  ours,  of 
which  he  writes: 

Why  do  I  live  among  the  green  mountains? 

I  laugh  and  answer  not.     My  soul  is  serene. 

It  dwells  in  another  heaven  and  earth  belonging  to  no 

man — 
The  peach  trees  are  in  flower,  and  the  water  flow9 

on.  .  .  . 

Taoism  with  its  early  doctrine  of  inaction  and  with 
its  later  fanciful  superstitions  of  celestial  realms, 
and  supernatural  beings  and  of  death-conquering  herbs 
and  pellets  fascinated  the  poet.  Confucian  critics,  eager 
to  whitewash  him  of  any  serious  Taoistic  contamination, 
declare  that  he  was  simply  playing  with  the  new-fangled 
heresy.  But  there  is  no  doubt  as  to  his  earnestness. 
"At  fifteen,"  he  writes,  "I  sought  gods  and  goblins." 
The  older  he  grew,  the  stronger  became  the  hold  of 



Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Taoism  on  his  mind.  In  fact,  the  utilitarian  principle 
of  Confucian  ethics  was  alien  both  to  his  temperament 
and  to  the  circumstances  of  his  life.  The  first  thing  he 
did  after  his  dismissal  from  the  court  was  to  go  to  Chi- 
nan-fu  and  receive  the  Taoist  diploma  from  the  high 
priest  of  the  sect,  "wishing  only  (says  Li  Yang-ping)  to 
return  east  to  Peng-lai  and  with  the  winged  men  ride  to 
the  Scarlet  Hill  of  Immortality."  Peng-lai  is  the  para- 
disical land  of  the  Taoist,  somewhere  in  the  eastern  sea. 
The  poetry  of  Li  Po  reflects  the  gleams  of  such  visionary 
worlds.  His  "Dream  of  the  Sky-land,"  8  rivaling  Kubla 
Khan  in  its  transcendent  beauty  and  imaginative  power, 
could  not  have  been  written  but  by  Li  Po,  the  Taoist. 
Even  in  superstition  and  opium  there  is  more  than  a 
Confucian  philosophy  dreams  of. 

But  mysticism  and  solitude  filled  only  one  half  of  the 
poet's  life.  For  he  loved  dearly  the  town  and  tavern — 
so  much  so  that  he  is  censured  again  by  moralists  as  hav- 
ing been  sordid.  Li  Po  not  only  took  too  hearty  an  in- 
terest in  wine  and  women,  but  he  was  also  scandalously 
frank  in  advertising  his  delight  by  singing  their  praise  in 
sweet  and  alluring  terms.  In  this  respect  Li  Po,  like  so 
many  of  his  associates,  was  a  thorough  Elizabethan.  Had 
the  Eight  Immortals  of  the  Wine-cup  descended  from 
their  Chinese  Elysium  to  the  Mermaid  Tavern,  how  happy 
they  would  have  been  with  their  doughty  rivals  in  song, 
humor,  wit,  capacity  for  wine,  and  ardent  and  adventur- 
ous, if  at  times  erratic,  spirit! 

Li  Po  "ate  like  a  hungry  tiger,"  says  Wei  Hao,  who 
should  know;  while  according  to  another  authority,  "his 
big  voice  could  be  heard  in  heaven."  In  his  early  youth 
he  exhibited   a  swashbuckling   propensity,  took  to   er- 

s  See  No.  77 



rantry,  and  learned  swordmanship,  and  even  slashed 
several  combatants  with  his  cutlass. 

"Though  less  than  seven  feet  in  height,  I  am  strong 
enough  to  meet  ten  thousand  men,"  he  boasted.  It  i9 
hardly  necessary,  however,  to  point  out  the  rare  and 
lovable  personality  of  the  poet,  who  made  friends  with 
everybody — lord  or  prince,  Buddhist  or  Taoist,  courtier 
or  scholar,  country  gentlemen  or  town  brewer;  and 
addressed  with  the  same  affectionate  regard  alike  the  em- 
peror in  the  palace  and  the  poor  singing-girl  on  the 
city  street  of  Chang-an. 

In  his  mature  age  Li  Po,  despite  his  natural  inclina- 
tion and  temperament,  cherished  the  normal  Chinese  am- 
bition to  serve  the  state  in  a  high  official  capacity  and 
try  the  empire-builder's  art.9  It  was  with  no  small  an- 
ticipation that  he  went  to  the  court  and  discoursed  on  the 
affairs  of  the  government  before  the  emperor.  But  he 
was  only  allowed  to  write  poems  and  cover  hig  vexations 
with  the  cloak  of  dissipation.  Later  when  amid  the 
turmoil  of  the  civil  war  he  was  called  to  join  the  pow- 
erful Prince  of  Yung,  his  aspirations  revived,  only  to  be 
smothered  in  the  bitterness  of  defeat  and  banishment. 
The  last  few  years  of  his  life  were  pathetic.  Broken  in 
spirit  and  weary  with  the  burden  of  sorrow  and  age,  but 
with  his  patriotic  fervor  still  burning  in  his  heart,  he 
watched  with  anxiety  the  sorry  plight  of  his  country. 

In  the  middle  of  the  night  I  sigh  four  or  five  times, 
Worrying  ever  over  the  great  empire's  affairs. 

The  rebellion  of  An  Lu-shan  and  its  aftermath  were 
not  wholly  quelled  till  the  very  year  of  the  poet's  death. 

8  See  No.  79,  &  124. 


La  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Then,  there  was  the  inevitable  pessimism  of  the  old 
world.  The  thought  of  the  evanescence  of  all  temporal 
things  brought  him  solace  for  life's  disappointments,  and 
at  the  same  time  subdued  his  great  tameless  spirit.  The 
Chinese  race  was  already  old  at  Li  Po's  time,  with  a  ret- 
rospect of  milleniums  on  whose  broad  expanse  the  dy- 
nasties of  successive  ages  were  like  bubbles.  What 
Shakespeare  came  to  realize  in  his  mellowed  years 
about  the  "cloud-capt  towers  and  gorgeous  palaces,"  was 
an  obsession  that  seized  on  Li  Po  early  in  life.  Thus  it 
is  that  a  pensive  mood  pervades  his  poetry,  and  many  of 
his  Bacchanalian  verses  are  tinged  with  melancholy. 
Even  when  he  is  singing  exultantly  at  a  banquet  table,  his 
saddest  thought  will  out,  saying  "Hush,  hush!  All 
things  pass  with  the  waters  of  the  east-flowing  river." 




1.    ON  THE  SHIP  OF  SPICE-WOOD  •» 

My  ship  is  built  of  spice-wood  and  has  a  rudder  of  mu- 

Ian;  \* 

Musicians  sit  at  the  two  ends  with  jeweled  bamboo  flutes 
and  pipes  of  gold. 

What  a  pleasure  it  is,  with  a  cask  of  sweet  wine 

And  singing  girls  beside  me, 

To  drift  on  the  water  hither  and  thither  with  the  waves! 

I  am  happier  than  the  fairy  of  the  air,  who  rode  on  his 
yellow  crane. 

And  free  as  the  merman  who  followed  the  sea-gulls  aim- 

Now  with  the  strokes  of  my  inspired  pen  I  shake  the 
Five  Mountains. 

My  poem  is  done,  I  laugh  and  my  delight  is  vaster 
than  the  sea. 

Oh,  deathless  poetry!  The  songs  of  Chu-ping  are  ever 
glorious  as  the  sun  and  moon, 

While  the  palaces  and  towers  of  the  Chu  kings  have 
vanished  from  the  hills. 

Yea,  if  worldly  fame  and  riches  were  things  to  last  for- 

The  waters  of  the  River  Han  would  flow  north-westward, 

The  poet  is  in  his  typical  mood.  The  poem  is  a 
manifesto  of  his  happy  triumphant  existence  of  free- 
dom and  of  sensual  and  poetical  indulgence. 

Mu-lan  is  the  name  of  a  precious  wood. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Chu-ping,  or  Chu  Yuan,  882-295  B.  C,  was  a  loyal 
minister  under  Huai-wang,  the  ruler  of  the  Chu  state. 
He  is  celebrated  for  his  poems,  which  include  the  famous 
Li  Sao. 

The  river  Han  is  a  large  tributary  of  the  Yangtze, 
which  originates  in  Shensi  and  flows  southwestward 
through  Hupeh,  joining  the  main  stream  at  Hankow. 


2.    A  SUMMER  DAY 


Naked  I  lie  in  the  green  forest  of  summer.  .  .  . 

Too  lazy  to  wave  my  white  feathered  fan.  w 

I  hang  my  cap  on  a  crag,  ~ 

And  bare  my  head  to  the  wind  that  comes  J-*"* 

Blowing  through  the  pine  trees.  ^ 





Blue  water  ...  a  clear  moon  .  .  . 
In  the  moonlight  the  white  herons  are  flying. 
Listen!     Do  you  hear  the  girls  who  gather  water-chest- 
They  are  going  home  in  the  night,  singing. 



The  white  clouds  float  over  the   mountains  of  Chu- 

As  over  the  mountains  of  Chin. 

Everywhere  the  white  clouds  will  follow  you  on. 

They  will  follow  you  on  everywhere — 
With  you  they  will  enter  the  Chu  mountains, 
And  cross  the  waters  of  the  Hsiang. 

Yonder  across  the  waters  of  the  Hsiang, 

There  is  a  cloak  of  ivy  to  wear, 

And  you  may  lie  in  a  bed  of  white  clouds. 

Go  swiftly  home,  0  my  friend! 




Fair  one,  when  you  were  here,  I  filled  the  house  with 

Fair  one,  now  you  are  gone — only  an  empty  couch  is 

On  the  couch  the  embroidered  quilt  is  rolled  up;  I  can- 
not sleep. 

It  is  three  years  since  you  went.  The  perfume  you  left 
behind  haunts  me  still. 

The  perfume  strays  about  me  forever,  but  where  are 

you,  Beloved? 
I  sigh — the  yellow  leaves  fall  from  the  branch, 
I  weep — the  dew  twinkles  white  on  the  green  mosses. 





The  glory  of  trailing  clouds  is  in  her  garments, 

And  the  radiance  of  a  flower  on  her  face. 

O  heavenly  apparition,  found  only  far  above 

On  the  top  of  the  Mountain  of  Many  Jewels,  ~^fR 

Or  in  the  fairy  Palace  of  Crystal  when  the  moon  is  up!      W°J 

Yet  I  see  her  here  in  the  earth's  garden —  ^_ 

The  spring  wind  softly  sweeps  the  balustrade, 

And  the  dew-drops  glisten  thickly.  .  .  . 

As  to  the  occasion  on  which  these  songs  were  com- 
posed, see  the  Introduction. 

The  Mountain  of  Many  Jewels  is  the  abode  of  the 
fairy  queen,  Hsi-wang-mo;  the  Palace  of  Crystal  is  an- 
other such  fabled  home  of  beautiful  spirits. 




;*.       She  is  the  flowering  branch  of  the  peony, 
**\       Richly-laden  with  honey-dew. 

Hers  is  the  charm  of  the  vanished  fairy, 
"~~  33     That  broke  the  heart  of  the  dreamer  king 
™N     In  the  old  legend  of  the  Cloud  and  Rain. 
j-m    Pray,  who  in  the  palace  of  Han 
Could  be  likened  unto  her, 
Save  the  lady,  Flying  Swallow,  newly-dressed 
In  all  her  loveliness? 

The  Legend  of  Cloud  and  Rain:  King  Hsiang  of  Chu 
once  in  his  dream  saw  a  fairy  maid  whose  loveliness 
captivated  his  heart  instantly,  and  who,  on  being  asked 
who  she  was,  replied,  "In  the  morning  I  ami  the  cloud, 
in  the  evening  the  rain  on  the  Wu  mountains,*'  and  van- 
ished. The  amorous  king  pined  for  the  cloud  and  rain, 
morning  and  evening  ever  after. 

Chao  Fei-yen  or  Lady  Flying  Swallow,  was  a  sing- 
ing girl  of  Chang-an,  but  her  charm  won  the  love  of  the 
emperor  Cheng-ti  of  the  Han  dynasty,  who  took  her  up 
to  the  palace  and  made  her  an  imperial  concubine  of 
the  highest  rank.  She  is  famous  for  her  frail  beauty. 
It  is  said  that  she  was  of  so  slight  a  build  that  she 
could  dance  on  the  palm  of  the  hand.  She  lived  in  the 
1st  century  fi.  C. 





She  stands,  leaning  against  the  balustrade  ^ 

Of  Chen-hsiang  Ting,  the  Pavilion  of  Aloes.  ^\ 
Vanquished  are  the  endless  longings  of  Love  „ 

Borne  into  the  heart  on  the  wind  of  spring.  Ty*3 
The  radiant  flower  and  the  flowery  queen  rejoice  together, 
For  the  emperor  deigns  to  watch  them  ever  with  a      J~m 








4fe  ?vl    The  east  wind  blowing,  the  grass  of  Ying-chow  is  green ; 
•  *.      The  spring-sweetness  is  about  the  purple  palaces  and 
-fjfr^T  crimson  towers. 

A&  "58     ^e  w^^ows  on  tne  south  of  the  pond  have  turned  half- 
*%  green, 

*g"*  xe     They  grow  like  delicate  wreaths  of  mist 
±*-£fc      By  the  resplendent  castle, 

^-rS^ij^b    Their  thread-like  branches,  one  hundred  feet  long, 
'jfc,     Wangling  about  the  carved  and  painted  pillars. 

While  high  above  the  sweet  birds  sing  melodiously  to- 
They  sing  with  hearts  stirred  early  by  the  spring  wind, 
Which  rolls  itself  in  the  blue  clouds  and  dies. 

The  voice  of  spring  is  heard  all  over — 
By  a  thousand  gateways  and  by  ten  thousand  doorways. 
At  Hao-king,  where  my  lord,  the  emperor,  tarries, 
Five  colored  clouds  are  brightening 
Against  the  lucid  purple  of  the  sky. 
The  imperial  cortege  comes  forth,  agleam  in  the  sun. 
Coming  forth  from  the  golden  palace, 
The  imperial  car  bedecked  with  jewels 
Glides  along  the  path  of  flowers, 



Poem  Composed  at  Imperial  Command 

First  turning  to  the  Peng-lai  Garden, 

Where  cranes  are  seen  gracefully  dancing, 

Then,  returning  to  the  garden  of  Yi-shih, 

Where  the  first  songs  of  nightingales  are  heard — 

They  sing  high  among  the  trees, 

Desiring  to  mingle  their  notes  with  the  mouth-organs, 

And  join  the  imperial  concert  of  the  phoenix- flutes. 

Hao-king  is  an  old  name  for  Chang-an,  the  capital, 


I  hear  the  Tsang-tsung  road 
Is  rough  and  rugged,  and  hard  to  travel. 
It  is  so  steep  that  the  mountains  rise 
In  front  of  the  rider's  face, 
And  the  clouds  gather  about  the  horse's  head. 
But  there  you  will  find  the  plank-highway  of  Chin 
Canopied  in  fragrant  foliage, 
And  the  sweet  water  of  springtime 
Flowing  around  the  city  wall  of  Shuh. 
Go,  my  friend!     Our  destiny's  decided.  .  .  . 
You  need  not  bother  to  ask  Chuan-ping,  the  fortune- 

Tsan-tsung  is  one  of  the  mythical  rulers  of  Shuh, 
or  the  present  Ssuchuan. 

Chuan-ping  was  a  fortune  teller  of  Chengtu  under  the 
Han  dynasty.  As  soon  as  he  had  earned  a  hundred 
pence,  he  would  close  his  shop  and  busy  himself  with 
writing  books. 



11.    TO  HIS  THREE  FRIENDS  ^ 

When  the  hunter  sets  traps  only  for  rabbits, 
Tigers  and  dragons  are  left  uncaught.  jM*" 

Even  so,  men  of  blue-cloud  ambition  remain  unsought,  ~*HT 
Singing  aloud  at  the  door  of  their  rocky  den.  ^ly 

My  friend,  Han,  you  are  rare  and  profound;  ' 

Pei,  you  possess  a  true  clean  breast;  Xr 

And  Kung,  you,  too,  are  an  excellent  man;  ^T^ 

And  all  you  three  are  lovers  of  cloud  and  mist. 

Your  stout  and  straight  souls 

Are  loftier  than  the  loftiest  pine. 

A  flat  boulder  for  a  bed,  you  sleep  together  under  one 

cover;  <<< 

You  hack  the  ice  and  sip  water  from  the  winter  stream;   J^i 
You  own  two  pairs  of  shoes  to  wear  among  you  three. 

Once  wandering  as  you  please  ^. 

Like  the  vagrant  clouds,  -yg 

You  came  out  of  the  mountains  to  greet  the  governor.  ~"a^— 
Indifferently  you  wore  cap  and  mantle  a  while,  ^*-l 

Whistling  long. 

Last  night  you  dreamed  of  returning  to  your  old  haunt, 
And  enjoying,  you  say,  the  moon  of  the  Bamboo  Valley. 
This  morning  outside  the  east  gate  of  Luh 
We  spread  the  tent  and  drink  the  farewell  cup. 

Be  careful  as  you  go! 

The  cliffs  are  snowy,  and  your  horses  may  slip; 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

And  the  road  of  tangled  vines  may  perplex  you. 
Pray  remember, 

My  thoughts  of  longing  are  like  the  smoke  grass, 
That  grows  always  in  profusion,  winter  or  spring! 

The  three  friends  were  Han  Chun,  Pel  Cheng,  and 
Kung  Chao-fu,  all  of  whom  were  members  of  the  "Six 
Idlers  of  the  Bamboo  Valley."  These  men  were  return- 
ing to  the  mountains  after  a  brief  and  unsuccessful  offi- 
cial career  under  the  local  governor,  and  Li  Po  wrote 
this  parting  poem. 



Here!  is  this  you  on  the  top  of  Fan-ko  Mountain, 
Wearing  a  huge  hat  in  the  noon-day  sun? 
How  thin,  how  wretchedly  thin,  you  have  grown! 
You  must  have  been  suffering  from  poetry  again. 

In  contrast  with  Li  Po,  who  depended  largely  on  in- 
spiration, Tu  Fu  was  a  painstaking  artist  careful  of  the 
minutest  details. 




Whence  these  twelve  peaks  of  Wu-shan! 
*Xj      Have  they  flown  into  the  gorgeous  screen 
From  heaven's  one  corner? 


Ah,  those  lonely  pines  murmuring  in  the  wind! 
t£_     Those  palaces  of  Yang-tai,  hovering  yonder — 

Oh,  the  melancholy  of  it! — 
aU-       Where  the  jeweled  couch  of  the  king 
—~*m     With  brocade  covers  is  desolate, — 

His  elfin  maid  voluptuously  fair 

Still  haunting  them  in  vain! 


•W      Here  a  few  feet 
gy       Seem  a  thousand  miles. 
/ji~     The  craggy  walls  glisten  blue  and  red, 

A  piece  of  dazzling  embroidery. 
jjfev     ^ow  Sreen  those  distant  trees  are 

Round  the  river  strait  of  Ching-men! 

And  those  ships — they  go  on, 

Floating  on  the  waters  of  Pa. 

The  water  sings  over  the  rocks 

Between  countless  hills 

Of  shining  mist  and  lustrous  grass. 

How  many  years  since  these  valley   flowers  bloomed 
To  smile  in  the  sun? 
And  that  man  traveling  on  the  river, 
Hears  he  not  for  ages  the  monkeys  screaming? 


On  a  Picture  Screen 

Whoever  looks  on  this, 

Loses  himself  in  eternity; 

And  entering  the  sacred  mountains  of  Sung, 

He  will  dream  among  the  resplendent  clouds. 

The  screen  was  owned  by  his  Buddhist  friend,  Yuan 
Tan-chiu,  to  whom  Li  Po  has  written  innumerable  poems. 
See  No.  99. 

The  Wu-shan  peaks  are  along  the  Yangtze  gorges  in 
Ssuchuan.  The  second  stanza  refers  to  the  Legend  of 
the  Cloud  and  Rain.     See  the  note  under  No.  7, 





fe£*m    The  waterside  city  stands  as  in  a  picture  scroll. 
•^       The  sky  is  lucid  above  the  mountain  shrouded  in 
l"ir>  evening  gloom, 

JSm,      While  the  waters  on  either  hand  shine  like  mirrors; 
•It5r       *^wo  Pamted  bridges  span  them  like  rainbows  dropt 
W\i  from  the  sky. 

The  smoke  from  the  cottages  curls  up  around  the  citron 

And  the  hues  of  late  autumn  are  on  the  green  paulow- 

3  t       ^1°  ever  ^reame^  °f  my  coming  hither  to  the  North 
To  brood  over  the  memory  of  Prince  Hsieh,  while  the 
wind  blows  in  my  face? 


The  North  Tower  was  built  by  Hsieh  Tiao  of  the  5th 
century,  a  statesman  and  a  poet  of  South  Chi  dynasty. 
It  is  located  in  the  city  of  Hsuan-cheng,  Anhwei. 


I   dare  not  speak   aloud   in  the  silence, 
For  fear  of  disturbing  the  dwellers  of  heaven 

The  temple  is  in  a  district  in  Hupeh,  so  isolated  from 
the  outside  world  that  this  poem  of  Li  Po,  written  on  a 
painted  board  and  left  on  the  beams  of  the  ceiling,  re- 
mained unmolested  for  centuries  until  it  was  discovered 
by  a  local  magistrate,  thus  settling  a  dispute  over  its  au- 
thorship which  had  arisen  in  the  meantime,  some  attri- 
buting the  poem  to  a  certain  Yang,  who  was  born  mute — 
the  story  runs — but  on  being  taken  to  a  high  tower  one 
day  when  he  was  only  a  boy  of  a  few  years,  composed 
and  uttered  this  poem,  of  which  the  first  line  reads: 

"A  precipitous  tower,  one  hundred  feet  high!** 

To-night  I  stay  at  the  Summit  Temple.  ^y 

Here  I  could  pluck  the  stars  with  my  hand,  -$* 

f     r\are»     rtr\t     enpnlr     nlrnirl     in     tine*.     RliPTirP.-  '" 

**  16.  LAO-LAO  TING,  A  TAVERN 

Here  friends  come,  sorrowing,  to  say  farewell, 
j£i„    O  Lao-lao  Ting,  tavern  where  every  heart  must  ache. 
Aj      Here  even  the  wind  of  spring  knows  the  pain  of  parting, 
^      And  will  not  let  the  willow  branches  grow  green. 

The  tavern  was  situated  on  a  hill-top  just  outside  the 
city  of  Nanking;  and  people  seeing  their  friends  off 
came  as  far  as  this  place  to  exchange  parting  cups. 

The  last  line  alludes  to  the  Chinese  custom  of  break- 
ing off  a  willow  branch  and  presenting  it  to  a  departing 


17.    THE  NIGHT  OF  SORROW  *Z 

A   lovely   woman   rolls   up 

The  delicate  bamboo  blind.  *i_ 

She  sits  deep  within,  fR1 

Twitching  her  moth  eyebrows.  ^ 

Who  may  it  be 

That  grieves  her  heart? 

On  her  face  one  sees 

Only  the  wet  traces  of  tears. 





The  dew  is  white  upon  the  staircase  of  jewels, 

And  wets  her  silken  shoes.     The  night  is  far  gone. 

She  turns  within,  lets  fall  the  crystal  curtain, 

And  gazes  up  at  the  autumn  moon,  shining  through. 


19.    THE  GIRL  OF  PA  SPEAKS  & 

The  water  of  the  River  Pa  is  swift  like  an  arrow;  » 

The  boat  on  the  River  Pa  slips  away  >C* 

As  if  it  had  wings.  „  \ 

It  will  travel  in  ten  days  three  thousand  li.  ~%&\ 

And  you  are  going,  my  dear —  "* 
Ah,  how  many  years  before  you  return? 

Pa  is  the  eastern  region  of  Ssuchuan,  traversed  by 
the  swift  flowing  Yangtze. 




20.    THE  WOMEN  OF  YUEH—I 

She  is  a  southern  girl  of  Chang-kan  Town; 
Her  face  is  prettier  than  star  or  moon, 
And  white  like  frost  her  feet  in  sandals- 
She  does  not  wear  the  crow-head  covers. 

In  these  poems  Li  Po  records  what  he  saw  of  the 
"southern"  girls  in  Kiangsu  and  Chehkiang.  These 
provinces  were  under  the  king  of  Yueh  in  the  5th  and 
6th  centuries,  B.  C, 

Chang-kan  is  near  the  city  of  Nanking,  and  was  at 
Li  Po's  time  inhabited  by  the  lower  class  of  people. 

The  crowhead  covers  are  a  kind  of  shoes  worn  by  the 
upper-class  women  of  the  north.  So  named  on  account 
of  their  shape  and  very  small  size — small  feet  seem  to 
have  been  already  at  a  premium.  "It  is  interesting," 
remarks  a  native  critic  demurely,  "to  note  Li  Po's  ad- 
miration for  a  barefoot  woman." 


21.    THE  WOMEN  OF  YUEH— II  . 

Many  a  girl  of  the  south  is  white  and  lucent. 

Often  she  will  steer  her  shallop  and  play.  ^ A-* 

In  her  coquettish  eyes  -^ 

Lurks  the  lure  of  the  spring-time.  ~*«n 

She  will  pluck  the  flowers  of  the  water  pp] 
For  amorous  wayfarers. 



She  is  gathering  lotus  in  the  river  of  Yeh. 

She  spies  a  passer-by,  and  turns  round, 

Singing  her  boat  song. 

She  laughs,  and  hides  away  among  the  lilies; 

And  seeming  shy,  she  will  not  show  her  face  again. 


23.    THE  WOMEN  OF  YUEH— IV  X<z 

She,  a  Tung-yang  girl,  stands  barefoot  on  the  bank, 

He,  a  boatman  of  Kuei-chi,  is  in  his  boat.  <^£f~~ 

The  moon  has  not  set.  -^^ 

They  look  at  each  other — broken-hearted.  ^^\ 


24.    THE  WOMEN  OF  YUEH— V 

The  water  of  the  Mirror  Lake 

Is  clear  like  the  moon. 

The  girl  of  Yeh-chi 

Has  a  face  white  as  snow. 

Her  silvery  image 

Trembles  in  the  silvery  ripple.  .  •  • 



It  was  at  a  wine  party — 

I  lay  in  a  drowse,  knowing  it  not. 

The  blown  flowers  fell  and  filled  my  lap. 

When  I  arose,  still  drunken, 

The  birds  had  all  gone  to  their  nests, 

And  there  remained  but  few  of  my  comrades. 

I  went  along  the  river — alone  in  the  moonlight. 



The  mountain  of  Hsien  looks  down  on  the  Han  River; 
|T-5r  ^e  water  *9  klue  and  its  sand  shines  like  snow. 
'  ^  There  on  the  mountain  top  stands  the  Monument  of 

Long  weathered  and  covered  up  with  green  mosses. 

The  Mountain  of  Hsien  is  in  Hupeh,  near  the  city  of 
Hsiang-yang.  Once  in  the  reign  of  the  Chint  dynasty 
(3rd  century),  Yang  Hu,  the  governor  of  this  district,  a 
man  of  benevolence,  climbed  the  mountain  to  view  the 
fair  landscape  below.  Amid  the  feasting  and  verse- 
making,  the  governor  turned  to  his  companions  and  said: 
"This  mountain  has  stood  here  since  the  beginning  of 
the  world;  and  many  famous  men  of  virtue  and  wisdom 
have  come  up  to  this  spot,  as  we  ourselves.  Now  they 
are  all  gone  and  forgotten.  Soon  we,  shall  be,  too." 
So  saying,  he  shed  tears.  Later  the  people  erected  a 
monument  there.  It  is  this  that  Li  Po  found  "covered 
up  with  green  mosses." 



27.    ON  A  QUIET  NIGHT 

I  saw  the  moonlight  before  my  couch, 
And  wondered  if  it  were  not  the  frost  on  the  ground,  jfc? 
I  raised  my  head  and  looked  out  on  the  mountain  moon;  ^J^ 
I  bowed  my  head  and  thought  of  my  far-off  home. 


28.    THE  BLUE  WATER 

Blue  is  the  water  and  clear  the  moon. 

He  is  out  on  the  South  Lake, 

Gathering  white  lilies. 
j4^    The  lotus  flowers  seem  to  whisper  love, 
fQ/    And  fill  the  boatman's  heart  with  sadnes9. 




Flocks  of  birds  have  flown  high  and  away;  ^ 
A  solitary  drift  of  cloud,  too,  has  gone,  wandering  on.  jfr 
And  I  sit  alone  with  the  Ching-ting  Peak,  towering  be- 
yond, ^l 
We  never  grow  tired  of  each  other,  the  mountain  and  I.  pJa^ 


The  Ching-ting  mountain  is  situated  to  the  north  of 
the  city  of  Hsuan-cheng,  Anhwei. 


^  30.    WITH  A  MAN  OF  LEISURE 

^J^       Yonder  the  mountain  flowers  are  out. 
T         We  drink  together,  you  and  I. 

ll'feL     ^ne  more  CUP — one  more  CUP — stiM  one  more  cup! 
-y"~v~     Now  I  am  drunk  and  drowsy,  you  had  better  gc. 

But  come  to-morrow  morning,  if  you  will,  with  the  harp ! 



The   autumn   moon   is   half  round   above   the  Yo-mei 

Mountain;  K?i 

Its  pale  light  falls  in  and  flows  with  the  water  of  the 

Ping-chiang  River.  t.|  t 

To-night  I  leave  Ching-chi  of  the  limpid  stream  for  the 

Three  Canyons, 
And  glide  down  past  Yu-chow,  thinking  of  you  whom 

I  can  not  see. 

This  is  one  of  the  most  famous  poems  in  all  Chinese 
literature;  and  it  is  needless  to  say  that  the  translation 
does  a  gross  injustice  to  the  original  verse,  which  com- 
bines the  beauty  of  a  fluent  language  with  the  wealth 
of  charming  associations  that  the  proper  names  possess, 
which,  by  the  way,  take  up  12  of  the  28  ideographs  that 
compose  the  whole  poem. 

The  mountain  and  stream  are  all  located  in  Ssuchuan. 




They  meet  in  the  pink  dust  of  the  city  street. 
He  raises  his  gold  crop  high  in  salute. 
"Lady,"    says  he,  "where  do  you  live? 
"There  are  ten  thousand  houses  among  the  drooping 
willow  trees." 



So,  old  man,  you're  down  where  the  yellow  waters  flow.     \^ 
Well,  I  imagine  you  are  still  brewing  the  "Old  Spring- 
time." Jh^fe 
But  since  there's  no  Li  Po  on  the  Terrace  of  Night,  ,v^sj 
To  what  sort  of  people  do  you  sell  your  wine?                 ±£ 


A  Chinese  tradition  has  it  that  in  Hades  there  is  a 
spring,  whose  water  is  yellow.  'IThe  Yellow  Spring" 
in  Chinese  has  long  become  a  proper  name,  referring  to 
the  world  beyond. 

"Terrace  of  Night"  is  another  Chinese  phrase  for 
the  land  of  the  dead. 

"The  Old  Springtime,"  a  brand  of  rice  wine.  The 
Tang  people  named  their  rice  wine  frequently  after  the 
season  of  spring.     Tu  Fu  mentions  a  "Rice  Spring" 



rj>  34.    TO  HIS  WIFE 



Three  hundred  sixty  days  a  year 

Drunk  I  lie,  like  mud  every  day. 

Though  you're  married  to  Tai-po,  wife, 

You  might  as  well  have  been  the  Tai-chang's  spouse. 

Tai-chang  is  the  title  of  a  religious  officer  in  the  gov- 
ernment of  the  Han  dynasty.  Here  a  Tai-chang  of  the 
latter  Han  dynasty  is  alluded  to,  who  was  noted  for 
liis  wine-bibbing  propensity. 




I  have  not  turned  my  steps  toward  the  East  Mountain 

for  so  long.  *p 

I   wonder  how   many  times   the   roses   have   bloomed  s^\> 
there.  ...  ^ 

The  white  clouds  gather  and  scatter  again  like  friends.    \j~* 

Who  has  a  house  there  now  to  view  the  setting  of  the 
bright  moon? 

The  East  Mountain  (Tung  Shan),  in  Chehkiang. 
Hsieh  An,  the  poet-governor  of  the  Jfth  century  under 
the  Chin  dynasty,  whom  Li  Po  admired  immensely,  had 
resided  here. 




The  Northern  Dipper  has  turned  round  in  the  sky, 
iJ  *t    And  now  hangs  over  the  west  tower. 
4    In  the  Golden  House  there  are  none 
v..      Save  the  fireflies  sailing  the  gloom, 
I  ^     While  the  moonlight  falls 

Into  the  Palace  of  Long  Gate, 
—     And  deepens  still  more  the  sorrow  of  one  in  the  secret 

Lady  Chen  who  was  queen  to  Wu-ti,  a  Han  emperor, 
lost  his  favor  and  was  left  in  the  solitude  of  the  Long 
Palace  Gate  to  pine  alone.  Later  at  the  imperial  harem 
of  China,  the  "Sorrow  of  the  Long  Gate'*  became  a 
stock-phrase  and  served  as  a  title  for  love  poems  of 
grief  under  similar  circumstances. 

The  Northern  Dipper,  i.  e.  Ursa  Major. 

The  Golden  House  always  refers  to  a  palace  for  the 
fair  sea;. 



The  glad  spring  goes  unattended 

At  the  laurel  bower  where  sorrow  is  long; 

But  on  the  four  walls  of  gold 

The  autumn  dust  clings  like  grief; 

And  night  holds  the  bright  mirror  up  in  the  emerald 

For  the  lonely  one  in  the  Palace  of  Long  Gate. 





Came  an  amorous  rider, 

Trampling  the  fallen  flowers  of  the  road. 

The  dangling  end  of  his  crop 

Brushes  a  passing  carriage  of  five-colored  clouds. 

The  jeweled  curtain  is  raised, 

A  beautiful  woman  smiles  within — 

"That  is  my  house,"  she  whispers, 

Pointing  to  a  pink  house  beyond. 


39.    TO  WANG  LUN  a^ 

I  was  about  to  sail  away  in  a  junk,  ♦* 

When  suddenly  I  heard  7/3L 

The  sound  of  stamping  and  singing  on  the  bank —  f 

It  was  you  and  your  friends  come  to  bid  me  farewell.  > j 
The  Peach  Flower  Lake  is  a  thousand  fathoms  deep,  ^i^n*" 
But  it  cannot  compare,  0  Wang  Lun 
With  the  depth  of  your  love  for  me. 

The  Peach  Flower  Lake  is  the  name  of  the  water  as 
well  as  of  the  village  on  its  shore.  Here  Li  Po  spent 
some  time,  enjoying  the  hospitality  of  Wang  Lun  who 
had  always  a  supply  of  good  wine.  At  the  departure 
of  the  poet  the  host  came  out  to  the  waterside  to  bid 
farewell  in  the  manner  described  in  the  poem. 




GSL  <fch-  ^y  friend  bade  farewell  at  the  Yellow  Crane  House, 

)y{  ^v  And  went  down  eastward  to  Willow  Valley 

rf-  %&  Amid  the  flowers  and  mists  of  March. 

fs^J^Zr  The  lonely  sail  in  the  distance 

-^  Vanished  at  last  beyond  the  blue  sky. 

a^»  And  I  could  see  only  the  river 

Flowing  along  the  border  of  heaven. 

The  Yellow  Crane  House  stood  till  a  recent  date  not 
far  from  the  city  of  Wu-chang,  Hupeh,  on  a  hill 
overlooking  the  Yangtze-hiang. 

Once  upon  a  time  a  dead  man  of  Shuh,  traveling  on 
the  bach  of  a  yellow  crane,  stopped  here  to  rest.  Hence 
the  name  of  the  house. 

There  is  another  interesting  story  just  as  authentic, 
according  to  which:  there  stood  here  a  tavern  kept  by  a 
man  whose  name  was  Chin,  to  whom  one  day  a  tall 
rugged  professor  in  rags  came  and  asked  very  compla- 
cently, "I  haven* t  money,  will  you  give  me  wine?" 
The  tavern  keeper  was  game;  he  readily  offered  to  thb 
stranger  the  biggest  tumbler  and  allowed  him  to  help 
himself  to  all  the  wine  he  wanted  day  after  day  for 
half  a  year.  At  last  the  professor  said  to  Chin,  "I  owe 
you  some  wine  money.  I'll  pay  you  now."  So  saying, 
he  took  lemon  peels  and  with  it  smeared  on  the  wall  a 
picture  of  a  yellow  crane,  which  at  the  clapping  of  his 
hands  came  to  life  and  danced  to  the  tune  of  his  song. 


On  Seeing  Off  Meng  Hao-Jan 

The  spectacle  soon  brought  a  fortune  to  the  tavern- 
keeper;  he  became  a  millionaire.  Then,  the  professor 
left,  flying  away  on  his  bird,  whither  no  one  knew. 
The  grateful  tavern-keeper  built  the  tower-house  in 
commemoration  thereof,  and  called  it  the  Yellow  Crane 

Willow  Valley  (Yang-chow),  in  Kiangsu. 


jg\  X  4L    0N  BEING  ASKED  WH°  HE  IS 

fo  j3ll  I  call  myself  the  Green  Lotus  Man; 

I  am  a  spirit  exiled  from  the  upper  blue; 

^^  *"  For  thirty  years  I've  hid  my  fame  in  wine  shops. 

\     ^ho  Warrior  of  Lake  Province,  why  must  you  ask  about  me? 

'°J  Behold  me,  a  reincarnation  of  the  Buddha  of  Golden 
yv^  Grain! 

2Vie  Warrior  of  Lake  Province  happened  to  be  a 
Buddhist  and  the  speaker  of  the  assembly  of  his  sect. 
Hence,  Li  Po's  witticism  in  referring  to  the  Buddhist 




Why  do  I  live  among  the  green  mountains? 
I  laugh  and  answer  not,  my  soul  is  serene: 
It  dwells  in  another  heaven  and  earth  belonging  to  no 

The  peach  trees  are  in  flower,   and  the   water   flows 




V3  43.    THE  FAIR  QUEEN  OF  WU 

V&   The  breeze  passes  through  the  lotus  flowers — 
y^L  All  fragrance  is  the  waterside  pavilion. 
^y     The  king  of  Wu  is  feasting  on  the  Ku-su  Tower. 
^Zf*-  Hsi-shih,  the  queen,  flushed  with  wine,  dances — 
She  is  fair  and  unresisting. 
Now,  smiling,  she  leans  near  the  east  window 
Against  a  couch  of  white  jade. 


Hsi-shih  (5th  century  B.  C.)  was  queen  to  Fu  Ckai, 
the  king  of  Wu,  and  is  one  of  the  most  famous  court 
beauties  of  China.  Her  dalliance  cost  the  king  hi*  king- 
dom as  well  as  his  life. 


44.    WHILE  JOURNEYING  ,£■» 

The  delicious  wine  of  Lan-ling  is  of  golden  hue  and  * 

flavorous.  w* 

Come,  fill  my  precious  glass,  and  let  it  glow  in  amber!  ' 

If  you  can  only  make  me  drunk,  mine  host,  it  is  enough;  q~"T" 
No  longer  shall  I  know  the  sorrow  of  a  strange  land. 

Lan-ling,  in  Shantung. 




In  the  deserted  garden  among  the  crumbling  walls 
-^*       The  willows  show  green  again, 
*Jg_      While  the  sweet  notes  of  the  water-nut  song 

Seem  to  lament  the  spring, 
tjfe      Nothing  remains  but  the  moon  above  the  river — 
JM.    The  moon  that  once  shone  on  the  fair  faces 

That  smiled  in  the  king's  palace  of  Wu. 

The  Ku-su  Palace  is  where  King  Fu-chai  of  Wu  with 
his  beautiful  queen  Hsi-shih  held  perpetual  revelries  till 
King  Kou  Chien  of  Yueh  annihilated  him.  It  was  lo- 
cated in  the  present  city  of  Soo  Chow,  which  was  the 
capital  of  Wu.     See  No.  £3. 


46.    THE  RUIN  OF  THE  CAPITAL  Jfc 

OF  YUEH  s^ 

Hither  returned  Kou  Chien,  the  King  of  Yueh,  in  tri-  x£* 

umph;  ,  ■ 

He  had  destroyed  the  kingdom  of  Wu.  */u 

His  loyal  men  came  home  in  brilliance  of  brocade,  S* 

And  the  women  of  the  court  thronged  the  palace 

Like  flowers  that  fill  the  spring — 

Now  only  a  flock  of  patridges  are  flying  in  the  twilight. 

See  Nos.  44  and  4&- 



At  dawn  I  left  the  walled  city  of  White  King, 
Towering  among  the  many  colored  clouds; 
And  came  down  streanf  in  a  day 
One  thousand  li  to  Chiang-ling. 
The  screams  of  monkeys  on  either  bank 
Had  scarcely  ceased  echoing  in  my  ear 
When  my  skiff  had  left  behind  it 
Ten  thousand  ranges  of  hills. 


The  White  King  City  is  in  Ssuchuan,  and  Chiang-ling 
in  Hupeh.  The  distance  between  the  two  places  is 
several  hundred  miles,  but  the  river  flows  so  swiftly 
that  the  down  stream  journey  may  be  accomplished  in  a 


48.    BY  THE  GREAT  WALL-I 

Came  the  barbarian  horde  with  the  autumn; 

Out  went  the  imperial  army  from  the  House  of  Han.      __ 

The  general  has  divided  the  tiger  tallies,  N 

And  the  dunes  of  White  Dragon  are  now 

The  camping  ground  of  the  brave. 

The  moon  in  the  wilderness 

Follows  the  movement  of  his  bow, 

And  upon  his  sword  the  desert  frost  blossoms. 

He  has  not  even  entered  this  side  of  the  Jewel  Gate 

But  do  not  heave  a  long  sigh,  0  little  wife! 

These  poems  tell  the  longing  and  the  sorrow  of  young 
wives,  whose  husbands  are  fighting  the  barbarians  in  a 
distant  land — a  common  theme  for  Tang  poets. 

The  tiger  tallies  were  used  as  a  means  of  army  regis- 
tration. These  were  distributed  among  the  soldiers 
prior  to  their  departure  for  the  front,  while  the  counter" 
parts  were  preserved  at  the  headquarters. 

The  Jewel  Gate  Pass  in  western  Kansu  was  located, 
according  to  the  old  Chinese  geography,  8600  li  west  of 



49.    BY  THE  GREAT  WALL— II 


He  rides  his  white  charger  by  the  Fortalice  of  Gold, 
^      She  wanders  in  dreams  amid  the  desert  cloud  and  sand. 
r        It  is  a  season  of  sorrow  that  she  scarce  can  endure, 
Thinking  of  her  soldier  lover  at  the  border  fort. 
The  fireflies,  flitting  about,  swarm  at  her  window, 
While  the  moon  slowly  passes  over  her  solitary  bower. 
The  leaves  of  the  green  paulonia  are  tattered; 
And  the  branches   of  the   sha-tung   blasted   and   sere. 
There  is  not  an  hour  but  she,  alone,  unseen, 
Weeps — only  to  learn  how  futile  all  her  tears  are. 




When  a  little  child, 

She  was  reared  in  a  golden  house, 

Now  ripe  and  lovely,  she  dwells 

In  the  imperial  palace  of  purple.  *_ 

She  will  come  forth  from  the  innermost  chamber,  *T3~ 

A  mountain  flower  in  her  glossy  hair, 

Robed  in  pink  embroidered  silk;  $& 

And  always  return  at  evening, 

Accompanying  the  imperial  palanquin.  _^.__ 

Only,  alas! —  the  hours  of  dance  and  song  prp 

Swiftly  vanish  into  the  sky 

To  tint,  perhaps,  the  flying  clouds  in  happy  colors! 

One  of  the  eight  poems  entitled  "Palace  Pleasures" 
which  Li  Po  composed  during  his  sojourn  at  the  court. 
They  describe  the  voluptuous  life  of  Hsuan  Tsung  with 
Yang  Kuei-fei. 



Faring  far  across  the  river-narrow  of  Ching-men 

I  have  come  with  you  into  the  land  of  Chu. 

Here  ends  the  mountain-range  that  stretches  along  the 

While  the  river  flowing  on,  enters  the  distant  heavens. 
Now  under  the  moon  like  a  mirror  flying  through  the 

And  the  rising  clouds  that  build  palaces  and  towers, 
I  bid  you  farewell.     Ten  thousand  li  you  sail  away, 
But  it  is  the  waters  of  the  home  river  that  bear  you  on. 



Here  from  this  tower  we  may  view 
The  whole  fair  region  of  Yo-yang, 
And  the  winding  river 
Opening  into  the  Tung-ting  Lake. 

0  wild  geese,  flying  past,  ^  ^ 

Take  away  with  you  the  sorrow  of  the  heart!  ~  <►, 

And,  come,  thou  mountain,  give  us  thy  happy  moon!   'a^* 

Here  will  we  sit  to  feast 

And  tarry  a  while  with  the  clouds 

And  pass  the  cup  high  above  the  world  of  cares. 


When  we  are  goodly  warm  with  wine, 

Then,  thou  cooling  breeze,  arise!  vfcJjL 

Come  and  blow  as  we  dance!  r^v" 

And  our  sleeves  will  flap  like  wings. 

The  Yo-yang  Tower  is  situated  in  Yo-chou,  Hunan 

The  poem  was  probably  written  while  on  his  way  to 
Yeh-lang,  the  place  of  his  banishment.  (See  Nos.  121 
and  122) 





El  Life  is  an  immense  dream.    Why  toil? 

All  day  long  I  drowse  with  wine, 
And  lie  by  the  post  at  the  front  door. 
Awakening,  I  gaze  upon  the  garden  trees, 
jLj  And,  hark,  a  bird  is  singing  among  the  flowers. 

>Q^  Pray,  what  season  may  this  be? 

>_  Ah,  the  songster's  a  mango-bird, 

^  Singing  to  the  passing  wind  of  spring. 

I  muse  and  muse  myself  to  sadness, 
Jh  Once  more  I  pour  my  wine,  and  singing  aloud, 

*^££  Await  the  bright  moonrise. 

My  song  is  ended — 
What  troubled  my  soul? — I  remember  not. 



With  a  jar  of  wine  I  sit  by  the  flowering  trees. 

I  drink  alone,  and  where  are  my  friends? 

Ah,  the  moon  above  looks  down  on  me; 

I  call  and  lift  my  cup  to  his  brightness. 

And  see,  there  goes  my  shadow  before  me. 

Hoo!     We're  a  party  of  three,  I  say, — 

Though  the  poor  moon  can't  drink, 

And  my  shadow  but  dances  around  me, 

We're  all  friends  to-night, 

The  drinker,  the  moon  and  the  shadow. 

Let  our  revelry  be  meet  for  the  spring  time! 

I  sing,  the  wild  moon  wanders  the  sky. 
I  dance,  my  shadow  goes  tumbling  about. 
While  we're  awake,  let  us  join  in  carousal; 
Only  sweet  drunkeness  shall  ever  part  us. 
Let  us  pledge  a  friendship  no  mortals  know, 
And  often  hail  each  other  at  evening 
Far  across  the  vast  and  vaporous  space! 





Do  you  not  see  the  waters  of  the  Yellow  River 
•/i     Come  flowing  from  the  sky? 

«^*i-  The  swift  stream  pours  into  the  sea  and  returns  never* 
^^--  more. 

V  gl    Do  you  not  see  high  on  yonder  tower 

A  white-haired  one  sorrowing  before  his  bright  mirror? 

In  the  morning  those  locks  were  like  black  silk, 

In  the  evening  they  are  all  snow. 

Let  us,  while  we  may,  taste  the  old  delights, 

And  leave  not  the  gold  cask  of  wine 

To  stand  alone  in  the  moonlight! 

Gods  have  bestowed  our  genius  on  us; 

They  will  also  find  its  use  some  day. 

Be  not  loath,  therefore,  to  spend 

Even  a  thousand  gold  pieces!     Your  money  will  come 

Kill  the  sheep,  slay  the  ox,  and  carouse! 
Jruly  you  should  drink  three  hundred  cups  in  a  round! 

Come,  Chin,  my  friend! 

Dear  Tan-chiu,  too. 

To  you  I  offer  wine,  you  must  not  refuse  it. 

Now   I  will   sing   a  snatch   of  song.    Lend  ear   and 

hearken ! 
Little  I  prize  gongs  and  drums  and  sweet-meats, 
I  desire  only  the  long  ecstasy  of  wine, 
And  desire  not  to  awaken. 


An  Exhortation 

Since  the  days  of  old,  the  wise  and  the  good 

Have  been  left  alone  in  their  solitude, 

While  merry  drinkers  have  achieved  enviable  fame. 

The  king  of  Chen  would  feast  in  ancient  days 

At  his  Palace  of  Peace  and  Pleasure; 

Ten  thousand  measures  of  wine  there  were, 

And  reckless  revelry  forever. 

Now  let  you  and  me  buy  wine  to-day! 

Why  say  we  have  not  the  price? 

My  horse  spotted  with  five  flowers, 

My  fur-coat  worth  a  thousand  pieces  of  gold, 

These  I  will  take  out,  and  call  my  boy 

To  barter  them  for  sweet  wine. 

And  with  you  twain,  let  me  forget 

The  sorrow  of  ten  thousand  ages! 


*  56.    THE  INTRUDER 

The  grass  of  Yen  is  growing  green  and  long 
£Q       While  in  Chin  the  leafy  mulberry  branches  hang  low. 
/^v£     Even  now  while  my  longing  heart  is  breaking, 

Are  you  thinking,  my  dear,  of  coming  back  to  me? 

— 0  wind  of  spring,  you  are  a  stranger, 
Why  do  you  enter  through  the  silken  curtains  of  my 




In  the  twilight  of  yellow  clouds 

The  crows  seek  their  nests  by  the  city  wall. 

The  crows  are  flying  home,  cawing —  ^^C 

Cawing  to  one  another  in  the  tree-tops. 

Lo,  the  maid  of  Chin-chuan  at  her  loom  c»jX* 

Weaving  brocade, — for  whom,  I  wonder?  "Tp 

She  murmurs  softly  to  herself  ' 

Behind  the  blue  mist  of  gauze  curtain. 

She  stops  her  shuttle,  and  broods  sadly, 

Remembering  him  who  is  far  away — 

She  must  lie  alone  in  her  bower  at  night, 

And  her  tears  fall  like  rain. 

The  theme  of  this  poem  is  a  well-known  story  of  a 
young  wife,  who  was  left  alone  in  Chang-an  by  her  hus- 
band while  he  lived  in  another  city  with  his  mistress. 
The  deserted  wife  composed  poems  of  her  love  and  fi- 
delity, and  weaving  them  into  a  piece  of  brocade,  sent 
it  to  her  husband,  who  was  so  moved  thereby  that  he 
called  her  to  his  side  and  lived  with  her  in  happiness 
ever  after. 

Chin  Chuan  is  an  old  name  of  Chang-an. 



>8.    TO  MENG  HAOJAN 

I  like  you,  my  friend,  Meng, 

Your  love  of  beauty  is  something  known 

To  everybody  under  heaven. 

When  young  with  red  cheeks, 

You  cast  aside  your  carriage  and  cap; 

Now  that  your  head  is  white, 

You  lie  among  the  pine  trees  and  the  clouds. 

You  get  drunk  with  the  moon 

As  often  as  with  the  transparent  wine; 

And  to  the  honor  of  serving  the  emperor 

You  prefer  the  rapture  of  blossoms. 

Your  nobility  looms  up  like  a  high  mountain, 

Too  high  for  others  to  attain  to; 

But  they  may  breathe  the  rare  fragrance 

That  your  soul  imparts. 

Meng  Hao-jan  was  a  native  of  Hupeh  and  a  poet  of 
no  mean  reputation,  ranking  next  to  Li  Po  and  Tu  Fu 
in  the  entire  galaxy  of  the  poets  of  the  glorious  Tang 
period.     He  died  in  7^0. 


59.    TO  TUNG  TSAO-CHIU  1^ 

Tung  Tsao-chiu  of  Lo-yang,  friend,  '^ 

I  remember  the  good  old  time. 

You  built  me  a  wine  house  to  the  south  of  the  Tien- 
chin  Bridge 

Songs  were  bought  with  yellow  gold,  and  laughter  with    \^Pf 
white  jewels. 

Months  went  by  in  one  long  lasting  rapture;  we  scorned     JJ; 
kings  and  princes. 

Wise  and  valiant  men  from  all  shores  were  there  as 
your  guests.  > 

Among  them  I  was  your  special  friend,  you  had  my 
heart's  devotion. 

For  you  I  would  not  have  declined  to  uproot  mountains 
and  overturn  the  sea. 

To  you  I  bared  my  heart  and  soul  without  hesitation. 

I  journeyed  to  Hwai-nan  to  dwell  in  the  laurel  grove; 
You  remained  in  the  north  of  Lo,  with  many  sad  dreams. 
The  separation  was  more  than  we  could  bear, 
So  we  met  again  and  went  together. 

We  went  together  a  long  way  to  Hsien-cheng 
Through  the  thirty-six  turns  of  the  river,  winding  round 

and  round, 
And  amid  the  voices  of  the  pine  wind  over  the  innum- 
erable cliffs, 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Which  having  ceased — lo! 
We  burst  into  a  valley—into  the  light  of  a  thousand 

There  on  the  level  ground  with  their  horses  of  golden 

reins  and  silver  saddles 
Stood  the  governor  of  Han-tung  and  his  men,  who  had 

come  to  meet  us. 
The  Taoist  initiates  of  Tzu-yang  welcomed  us,  too,  blow- 
ing on  their  jeweled  bamboo  pipes. 
They  took  us  on  the  Tower  of  Mist- Feasting, — what  a 

music  there  stirred! 
Such  celestial  notes!     It  seemed  all  the  sacred  birds 

of  heaven  sang  together. 
With  those  pipes  playing,  our  long  sleeves  began  to 

flap  lightly. 
At  last  the  governor  of  Han-chung,  drunken,  rose  and 

It  was  he,  who  covered  me  with  his  brocade  robe; 
And  I,  drunk  too,  chose  his  lap  for  pillow  and  went 

to  sleep. 
During  the  feast  our  spirits  soared  high  over  the  ninth 

But  ere  the  morning  we  were  scattered  like  stars  and 

Scattered  hither  and  thither,  the  Pass  of  Chu  separating 

us  wide, 
As  I  sought  my  old  nest  in  the  mountains, 
And  you  returned  to  your  home  across  the  Bridge  of 


Your  honorable  father  brave  as  leopard  and  tiger 
Became  the  governor  of  Ping-chow  then. 


To  Tung  Tsao-Chiu 

And  stopt  the  barbarian  invasion. 

In  May  you  called  me  and  I  crossed  the  mountain  of 

My  cart  wheels  were  broken  on  the  steep  passes,  winding 

like  sheep  guts;  but  that  did  not  matter. 

I   traveled   on   and  came  to   Pe-liang  and   stayed  for 

What  hospitality!     What  squandering  of  money! 
Red  jade  cups  and  rare  dainty  food  on  tables  inlaid 

with  green  jems! 
You   made  me  so   rapturously   drunk  that   I  had  no 

thought  of  returning. 

Oft  we  went  out  to  the  western  edge  of  the  city, 

To  the  Temple  of  Chin,  where  the  stream  was  clear  as 

Where  on  a  skiff  afloat  we  played  with  water  and  made 
music  on  pipes  and  drums; 

Where  the  tiny  waves  looked  like  dragon-scales — and 
how  green  were  the  reed  in  the  shallows! 

Pleasure-inspired,  we  took  singing  girls  and  gaily  sailed 
the  stream  up  and  down. 

How  beautiful  are  their  vermilioned  faces,  when  half- 
drunken,  they  turn  to  the  setting  sun, 

While  the  willow  flakes  are  flying  about  them  like  snow, 

And  their  green  eyebrows  are  mirrored  in  the  clear 
water  one  hundred  feet  deep! 

And  comelier  still  are  the  green  eyebrows  when  the  new 

moon  shines. 
The  beautiful  girls  sing  anew  and  dance  in  robes  of 

thin  silk. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Their  songs,   lifted  by  the  zephyr,  pass  away  in  the 

But  the  sweet  notes  seem  to  linger  in  the  air,  hovering 

about  the  wandering  clouds. 

The  delight  of  those  days  cannot  be  had  again. 
I  went  west  and  offered  my  Ode  of  the  Long  Willows, 
But  to  my  skyey  ambition  the  imperial  gates  were  closed. 
I  came  back  to  the  East  Mountain,  white-headed. 

I  met  you  once  more  at  the  south  end  of  the  Bridge 

of  Wei; 
But  once  more  we  parted  company  north  of  Tsan-tai. 
You  ask  me  the  measure  of  my  sorrow — 
Pray,  watch  the  fast  falling  flowers  at  the  going  of 

I  would  speak,  but  speech  could  not  utter  all, 
Nor  is  there  an  end  to  my  heart's  grief. 
I  call  my  boy  and  bid  him  kneel  down  and  seal  this 

And  I  send  it  to  you  a  thousand  miles,  remembering. 

This  poem  was  written  shortly  after  Li  Po's  depart- 
ure from  the  capital,  and  tells  of  the  companionship  and 
excursions  the  poet  had  enjoyed  with  Tung  Tsao-chiu 
before  his  going  to  the  court.  He  is  now  a  disappointed 
man,  wandering  over  the  country.     See  the  Introduction. 

Tung  Tsao-chiu  was  a  military  official  at  Chiao  dis- 
trict in  northern  Anhwei  not  very  far  from  the  city  of 

Ping-chou,  in  central  Shansi.  The  dynastic  temple 

To  Tung  Tsao-Chiu 

of  Chin  is  located  near  the  city  of  Taiyuan-fu.     This 
locality  was  also  called  Pe-Liang. 

The  Ode  of  the  Long  Willows  was  composed  by  the 
celebrated  scholar  and  philosopher,  Yang-Hsiung  (B.  C. 
63 — A.D.  18)  of  the  Han  dynasty.  Here  Li  Po  re- 
fers metaphorically  to  his  own  verse.  The  passage  tells 
of  his  failure  at  the  court. 




Blue  mountains  lie  beyond  the  north  wall; 

Round  the  city's  eastern  side  flows  the  white  water. 
yt7       Here  we  part,  friend,  once  forever. 

You  go  ten  thousand  miles,  drifting  away 

Like  an  unrooted  water-grass. 
/\    Oh,  the  floating  clouds  and  the  thoughts  of  a  wanderer! 

Oh,  the  sunset  and  the  longing  of  an  old  friend! 

We  ride  away  from  each  other,  waving  our  hands, 

While  our  horses  neigh  softly,  softly.  .  .  . 


61.    MAID  OF  WU  oo 

Wine  of  the  grapes,  ^ 

Goblets  of  gold —  -•  -*• 

And  a  pretty  maid  of  Wu —  ^J*^\ 

She  comes  on  pony-back:  she  is  fifteen. 

Blue-painted  eyebrows — 

Shoes  of  pink  brocade — 

Inarticulate  speech — 

But  she  sings  bewitchingly  well. 

So  feasting  at  the  table 

Inlaid  with  tortoise  shell, 

She  gets  drunk  in  my  lap. 

Ah,  child,  what  caresses 

Behind  lily-broidered  curtains! 



62.    THE  LOTUS 

In  the  deep  sequestered  stream  the  lotus  grows, 

Blooming  fresh  and  fair  in  the  morningl  sun. 

Its  glowing  petals  hide  the  clear  autumn  water, 

And  its  thick  leaves  spread  like  blue  smoke. 

Alas!  in  vain  its  beauty  excels  the  world. 

Who  knows?     Who  will  speak  of  its  rare  perfume? 

Lo,  the  frost  will  come,  chilling  the  air, 

And  its  crimson  must  wither,  its  fragrance  fade. 

Ill  it  has  chosen  the  place  to  plant  its  root. 

Would  it  could  move  to  the  margin  of  a  flower  pond! 

An  obvious  metaphor,  reminding  one  of  that  flower 
which  "wastes  its  sweetness  in  the  desert  air."  Suck 
poems  were  popular  and  accorded  a  high  regard  by  the 
Chinese  scholars,  who  relish  greatly  the  moral  mean- 
ings that  they  themselves  read  into  the  simple  folk  songs 
in  the  Book  of  Odes  compiled  by  Confucius.  Li  Po  has 
left  us  a  few  scores  of  these  allegorical  poems,  and  it  is 
these  that  Li  Yang-ping  in  his  Preface  speaks  of  so 
highly.     See  Appendix  II. 



In  the  land  of  Wu  the  mulberry  leaves  are  green, 

And  thrice  the  silkworms  have  gone  to  sleep. 

In  East  Luh  where  my  family  stay, 

I  wonder  who  is  sowing  those  fields  of  ours. 

I  cannot  be  back  in  time  for  the  spring  doings, 

Yet  I  can  help  nothing,  traveling  on  the  river. 

The  south  wind  blowing  wafts  my  homesick  spirit 

And  carries  it  up  to  the  front  of  our  familiar  tavern. 

There  I  see  a  peach  tree  on  the  east  side  of  the  house 

With   thick   leaves   and  branches  waving  in   the   blue 

mist.  ^2 

It  is  the  tree  I  planted  before  my  parting  three  years  -"T[ 

The  peach  tree  has  grown  now  as  tall  as  the  tavern 

While  I  have  wandered  about  without  returning. 
Ping-yang,  my  pretty  daughter,  I  see  you  stand 
By  the  peach  tree  and  pluck  a  flowering  branch. 
You  pluck  the  flowers,  but  I  am  not  there — 
How  your  tears  flow  like  a  stream  of  water! 
My    little    son,    Po-chin,    grown    up    to    your    sister's 

You  come  out  with  her  under  the  peach  tree, 
But  who  is  there  to  pat  you  on  the  back? 
When  I  think  of  these  things,  my  senses  fail, 
And  a  sharp  pain  cuts  my  heart  every  day. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Now  I  tear  off  a  piece  of  white  silk  to  write  this  letter, 
And  send  it  to  you  with  my  love  a  long  way  up  the  river. 

Written  from  Nanking  during  his  southern  travels 
prior  to  his  journey  to  the  court  of  Chang-an.  His 
family  lived  in  East  Luh,  a  central  part  of  Shantung. 


64.    TO  A  FRIEND  GOING  HOME  .g[  ^J 

It  is  June  when  the  south  wind  blows  the  white  sand,  „       *> 

And  the  oxen  pant  under  the  moon,  their  gusty  breath  \**\)$k 

turning  to  mist.  ^ 

The  lowland  air  is  humid   and   suffocating,   and  it  is  *5fi-^- 

hard  to  bear.  _1» 

There  is  no  coach  on  the  long  road  in  the  burning  heat,  -^p 

What  do  you  think  of  going  by  way  of  the  river?  m^m 

You  leave  for  Chin-ling,  hoisting  your  sail  high  to  the  'i^J^V 

breeze.  -^ 

Your  parents  are  waiting  and  watching  for  you,  leaning  fi%?'& 

against  the  gate.  ^"§f 
In  Luh-chung  there  is  the  home  of  your  childhood. 

My  family  live  for  the  time  at  the  Sand  Hill; 

I  have  not  returned  for  three  years,  and  they  are  dis- 

Please,  go  and  see  them! — You  know  Po-chin,  my  boy. 

He  must  be  running  his  toy  cart  and  riding  on  the  back 
of  a  white  sheep. 

Written  about  the  same  time  as  No.  68. 

The  poet  is  near  Chin-ling: — that  is,  Nanking.  In 
this  southern  region  the  oxen  are  so  afraid  of  the  scorch- 
ing sun  that  they  pant,  it  is  said,  even  at  the  sight  of  the 

Luh-chung  is  a  district,  and  Sand  Hill  a  town,  in 
Shantung.     See  No.  80. 





To  wash  and  rinse  our  souls  of  their  age-old  sorrows, 
^>^    We  drained  a  hundred  jugs  of  wine. 
A  splendid  night  it  was.  .  .  . 
/£*.   In  the  clear  moonlight  we  were  loath  to  go  to  bed, 
Ht        But  at  last  drunkenness  overtook  us; 
^      And  we  laid  ourselves  down  on  the  empty  mountain, 
^      The  earth  for  pillow,  and  the  great  heaven  for  coverlet. 


66.    THE  OLD  DUST 

The  living  is  a  passing  traveler; 

The  dead,  a  man  come  home.  ~iz* 

One  brief  journey  betwixt  heaven  and  earth,  ^ 

Then,  alas!  we  are  the  same  old  dust  of  ten  thousand 

The  rabbit  in  the  moon  pounds  the  medicine  in  vain; 

Fu-sang,  the  tree  of  immortality,  has  crumbled  to  kin- 
dling wood. 

Man  dies,  his  white  bones  are  dumb  without  a  word 

When  the  green  pines  feel  the  coming  of  the  spring. 

Looking  back,  I  sigh;  looking  before,  I  sigh  again. 

What  is  there  to  prize  in  the  life's  vaporous  glory  % 

According  to  Chinese  folklore  there  is  a  rabbit  in  the 
,moon,  which  is  pounding  the  elixir  of  life. 



Swallows,  two  by  two, — always  two  by  two. 
^-        A  pair  of  swallows  are  an  envy  for  man. 
d£?L     Such  a  pair  lived  together  once  in  a  jeweled  palace- 
&  tower. 

:Jy^     Long  they  lived  together  by  the  gilded  window  with 
silken  curtains. 

Then  fire  swept  the  royal  tower. 

The  swallows  entered  the  Palace  of  Wu  and  made  their 

But  once  more  fire  burned  the  palace  down. 
Burned  away  the  swallow  nest  and  all  the  younglings. 
Only  did  the  mother  bird  escape  death;   she  is  worn 

with  grief. 
Poor  lonely  swallow,  she  longs  for  her  mate  that  is 

Never  again,  can  the  two  fly  together. 
And  that  pierces  my  little  heart  with  sadness. 

Another  allegorical  poem.  A  commentator  says  that 
this  is  a  fable  of  Li  Po's  own  life,  he  with  his  hopes  and 
ambitions  being  compared  with  the  mother  swallow  with 
her  mate  and  younglings.  The  first  palace,  then,  would 
allude  to  the  court  of  Hsuan  Tsung;  and  the  second 
palace  to  that  of  the  Prince  of  Yung. 

68.    AT  A  RIVER  TOWN 

A  river  town.    The  autumn  rain  has  stopt. 

Our  wine  is  gone.     So,  farewell! 

While  you  lie  idle  in  your  boat, 

Your  sail  flies  down  homeward  over  the  waves, 

Past  the  islands  burning  red  with  flowers, 

Past  the  slender  willows,  green   on  the  river   strand. 

What  of  me  after  parting?     I  know  not — 
I'll  go  back,  perhaps,  to  my  old  fishing  rock  on  the 





69.    I  AM  A  PEACH  TREE 

I  am  a  peach  tree  blossoming  in  a  deep  pit 
Who  is  there  I  may  turn  to  and  smile? 
You  are  the  moon  up  in  the  far  sky; 
Passing,  you  looked  down  on  me  an  hour;  then  went 
on  forever. 

^    A  sword  with  the  keenest  edge,* 

Could  not  cut  the  stream  of  water  in  twain 
So  that  it  would  cease  to  flow. 

My  thought  is  like  the  stream;  and  flows  and  follows 
you  on  forever. 

These  two  stanzas  are  taken  from  a  poem  written  by 
Li  Po  in  behalf  of  his  wife,  expressing  her  sentiment  to- 
ward  himself. 



Up  the  river  by  the  White  King  City, 

The  water  swells  and  the  wind  is  high. 

It  is  May.     Through  the  Chu-tang  gorge 

Who  dares  to  sail  down  to  me  now — 

Down  to  Ching-chow,  where  the  barley  is  ripe 

And  the  silk  worms  have  made  their  cocoons — 

Where  I  sit  and  spin,  with  my  thoughts  of  you 

Endless  as  the  silken  strands? 

The  cuckoo  calls  high  up  in  the  air.    Ah,  me! 

The  White  King  City  is  in  Ssuchuan.  The  Chu-tang 
gorge,  situated  near  Wushan  in  the  same  province,  is 
one  of  the  most  dangerous  spots  in  the  Yangtze  kiang. 
Further  down  the  river  and  in  Hupeh,  Ching-chow  is 
located,  where  the  silk  spinner  awaits  her  lover. 



Chuang  Chou  in  dream  became  a  butterfly, 

And  the  butterfly  became  Chuang  Chou  at  waking. 

Which  was  the  real — the  butterfly  or  the  man? 

Who  can  tell  the  end  of  the  endless  changes  of  things? 

The  water  that  flows  into  the  depth  of  the  distant  sea 

Returns  anon  to  the  shallows  of  a  transparent  stream. 

The  man,  raising  melons  outside  the  green  gate  of  the 

Was  once  the  Prince  of  the  East  Hill. 
So  must  rank  and  riches  vanish. 
You  know  it,  still  you  toil  and  toil, — what  for? 

Chuang  Chou.  A  famous  philosopher  of  the  3rd  and 
4-th  centuries  B.  C,  who  was  an  ardent  follower  of  Lao- 
tzu,  the  founder  of  Taoism.  Chuang  Chouys  writing 
contains  a  chapter  on  his  becoming  a  butterfly  in  a 



Alas,  Chao  of  Nippon — you  who  left  the  Imperial  City 

To  sail  the  waters  where  the  fabled  islands  are! 

Alas,  the  bright  moon  has  sunk  into  the  blue  sea  never- 
more to  return, 

And  gray  clouds  of  sorrow  fill  the  far  skies  of  the 


Chao  is  the  Chinese  name  adopted  by  a  Japanese,  Abe 
Nakamaro,  who,  on  arriving  from  Japan,  was  so  fas- 
cinated with  the  brilliant  court  and  city  of  Chang-an, 
that  he  chose  to  remain  in  China  all  his  life.  Once  he 
sailed  for  home,  but  his  ship  encountered  a  storm  and 
was  blown  to  the  south  coast  of  China.  At  the  first  re- 
port of  the  mishap  his  friends  at  Chang-an  believed  that 
he  was  dead,  and  threnodies  were  composed,  of  which 
this  poem  by  Li  Po  was  one, 


The  green  spring — and  what  time? 

The  yellow  bird  sings  and  will  not  cease. 

On  the  bank  of  the  Kiang  I  am  growing  old,  white- 

My  homeward  way  lies  lost  beyond  the  horizon. 

Though  my  thoughts  fly  into  the  clouds  of  Chin, 

I  remain  with  my  shadow  under  the  moon  of  Chu. 

My  life  is  a  wasted  thing, 

My  garden  and  fields  have  long  been  buried  under 

What  am  I  to  do  so  late  in  my  years 

But  sing  away  and  let  alone  the  imperial  gate  of  gold? 



Alas!  how  precipitous!     Alas!  how  high! 

The  road  to  Shuh  is  more  difficult  to  climb  than  to  climb 
the  steep  blue  heaven. 

In  the  remotest  time  of  Tsang-tsung  and  Yu-fu — 

Yea,  forty  milleniums  ago — that  land  was  founded. 

Yet  from  the  wall  of  the  Middle  Kingdom  runs  no  high- 
way thither,  no  highway  linking  human  dwel- 

Only  a  lone  precipitous  path — the  bird-way — was  built, 

Leading  westward  toward  the  evening  star, 

And  trailing  across  the  forehead  of  the  Yo-mei  moun- 

And  how  those  strong  men  died,  traveling  over! 

The  earth  sunk  and  the  mountains  crumbled. 

At  last  there  is  now  a  road  of  many  ladders  and  bridges 
hooked  together  in  the  air. 

Lo,  the  road-mark  high  above,  where  the  six  dragons 
circle  the  sun! 

Lo,  the  stream  far  below,  winding  forth  and  winding 
back,  breaks  into  foam! 

The  yellow  crane  could  not  fly  over  these  mountain- 

And  the  monkeys  wail,  unable  to  leap  over  these  gorges. 

How  the  Green  Mud  path  turns  round  and  round! — 
There  are  nine  turns  to  each  hundred  steps. 

The  traveler  must  climb  into  the  very  realm  of  stars, 
and  gasp  for  breath; 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Then  draw  a  long  sigh,  his  hands  on  his  breast. 

Oh,  why  go  you  west,  I  pray?     And  when  will  you 

I  fear  for  you.     You  cannot  clamber  over  these  jutting 

You  shall  see  nothing  by  day  but  the  birds  plaining  bit- 
terly on  the  aged  trees,  the  female  following  the 

male  in  their  flight; 
You  shall  hear  no  voice  but  the  cuckoos  calling  in  the 

moonlight  by  night,  calling  mournfully  in  the 

desolate  mountains. 
The  road  to  Shuh  is  more  difficult  to  climb  than  to  climb 

the  steep   blue  heaven. 
A  mere  story  of  it  makes  the  youth's  red  face  grow  pale. 
The  lofty  peaks  shoot  up  cloudward  in  rows.     If  one 

foot  higher,  they  would  touch  the  heaven. 
The  dead  pine  trees  cling  to  the  cliff,  hanging  headmost 

over  the  abyss. 

The  sparkling  cascades  and  the  spurting  torrents  vie 
with  one  another  to  make  the  bellowing  din. 

Anon,  a  giant  boulder  tumbles  from  the  crag-head;  a 
thousand  mountain  walls  resound  like  thunder. 

0  you  wayfarers  from  afar,  why  do  you  come  hither  on 
this  direful  road? 

The  gate  of  the  Sword  Parapet  stands  firm  on  its  fright- 
ful height. 

One  man  defending  it,  a  thousand  men  could  not  break 
it  open. 

And  the  keepers  of  the  gate  are  not  of  your  kin, 

They  may  turn,  I  fear,  to  wolves  and  leopards. 

The  Steep  Road  to  Shuh 

Fleeing  at  morn  before  the  savage  tigers, 

Fleeing  at  eve  before  the  huge  serpents, 

Men  are  killed  and  cut  up  like  hemp, 

While  the  beasts  whet  their  fangs  and  lick  the  blood. 

Though  many  pleasures  there  may  be  in  the  brocade 

city  of  Shuh, 
It  were  better  to  return  to  your  house  quickly. 
The  road  to  Shuh  is  more  difficult  to  climb  than  to  climb 

the  steep   blue  heaven. 
I  shrug  my  shoulders  and  heave  a  long  sigh — gazing 

into  the  west. 

This  is  one  of  the  most  admired  and  most  difficult 
poems  of  Li  Po,  certain  portions  of  it  being  as  vague  as 
they  are  beautiful.  Some  commentators  maintain  that 
this  was  written  at  the  time  of  the  An  Lu-shan  rebellion, 
when  the  emperor  Hsuan  Tsung  fled  to  Ssuchuan,  to 
which  course  Li  Po  was  opposed;  but  being  in  no  posi- 
tion to  declare  his  opinion  openly,  the  poet  voiced  it 
thus  in  verse  covertly.  The  poem  hints  at  the  double 
danger  for  the  emperor  in  leaving  his  capital  to  the 
rebels  who  are  tigers  and  serpents  as  well  as  in  trusting 
his  person  to  the  hands  of  the  strangers  of  Shuh,  who 
might  turn  to  wolves  and  leopards,  while  it  dwells  for 
the  most  part  on  the  difficulty  of  the  journey  in  a  re- 
markably vivid  and  forceful  language.  The  Road  to 
Shuh  runs  from  Shensi  to  Ssuchuan  over  the  mountains. 

As  to  those  "strong  men'*  that  died,  there  is  this  story: 
Some  thousands  of  years  ago,  a  prince  in  Shensi,  know- 
ing the  fondness  of  the  king  of  Shuh,  offered  him  his 
five  daughters  for  wives.  The  king  of  Shuh  despatched 
five  strong  men  to  fetch  the  princesses.  It  was  on  their 
homeward  journey   that   the  party   saw  a  big  serpent 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

crawling  into  a  hole  in  the  mountainside.  One  man 
tried  to  pull  out  the  serpent  by  its  tail,  but  could  not 
do  so.  All  the  five  men  joined  in  the  enterprise,  and 
yelling  aloud,  they  pulled  the  serpent,  whereupon  the 
whole  mountain  range  crumbled  and  was  split  into  five 
peaks.  The  five  strong  men  and  the  five  princesses  and 
all  the  attendants  perished. 




The  wind  blows  the  willow  bloom  and  fills  the  whole 

tavern  with  fragrance 
While  the  pretty  girls  of  Wu  bid  us  taste  the  new  wine. 
My  good  comrades  of  Chin-ling,  hither  you  have  come  y 

to  see  me  off.  * 

I,  going,  still  tarry;  and  we  drain  our  cups  evermore.  ^V 
Pray  ask  the  river,  which  is  the  longer  of  the  two — wkfS& 
Its  east-flowing  stream,  or  the  thoughts  of  ours  at  part- 




f£^  76.    THE  PHOENIX  BIRD  TOWER 

Here  once  on  the  Phoenix  Bird  Tower  the  phoenix  birds 
A>.  came  to  nest. 

/$£>      Now  the  birds  are  gone,  and  the  tower  empty;  only  the 

river  flows  aimlessly  on. 
Here  where  the  garden  of  Wu  palace  bloomed,  the  deep 

grass  hides  the  paths; 
Where  the  kings  of  Chin  vaunted  their  regalia,  is  only 

an  old  hill. 
I  see  the  three  peaks  hang  aloft  as  though  half-dropt 

from  the  sky, 
And  the  river  divide  in  two  streams,  holding  the  White 

Heron  Island  between. 
But  the  floating  clouds  cover  the  sun, 
And  the  city  of  Chang-an  is  lost  in  distance  and  gloom. 

The  Phoenix  Bird  Tower  was  situated  to  the  north  of 
Nanking,  once  the  capital  of  Wu,  Chin,  and  many  other 
states.  A  legend  has  it  that  three  birds  of  five-colored 
wings,  resembling  the  peacock,  nestled  here  once,  and 
they  sang  so  melodiously  that  all  other  birds  of  the 
vicinity  were  attracted  to  the  tower.  Those  three  birds 
were  the  Phoenix. 




The  sea-farers  tell  of  the  Eastern  Isle  of  Bliss, 
It  is  lost  in  a  wilderness  of  misty  sea  waves. 

But  the  Sky-land  of  the  south,  the  Yueh-landers  say,      ^ 
May  be  seen  through  cracks  of  the  glimmering  cloud,    jp^ 

This  land  of  the  sky   stretches  across  the  leagues  of  \^jf> 

heaven ;  J*y& 

It  rises  above  the  Five  Mountains  and  towers  over  the  J 

Scarlet  Castle,  VHf^ 

While,  as  if  staggering  before  it,  the  Tien-tai  Peak 

Of  forty-eight  thousand  feet  leans  toward  the  southeast.  y>7] 

So,  longing  to  dream  of  the  southlands  of  Wu  and  Yueh,    ^y  1 
I  flew  across  the  Mirror  Lake  one  night  under  the  moon.    Jh  j 

The  moon  in  the  lake  followed  my  flight, 

Followed  me  to  the  town  of  Yen-chi. 

Here  still  stands  the  mansion  of  Prince  Hsieh. 

I  saw  the  green  waters  curl  and  heard  the  monkeys' 

shrill  cries. 
I  climbed,  putting  on  the  clogs  of  the  prince, 
Skyward  on  a  ladder  of  clouds, 
And  half-way  up  from  the  sky-wall  I  saw  the  morning 

And  heard  the  heaven's  cock  crowing  in  the  mid-air. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Now  among  a  thousand  precipices  my  way  wound  round 

and  round; 
Flowers  choked  the  path;  I  leaned  against  a  rock;   I 


Roaring  bears  and  howling  dragons  roused  me — Oh, 
the  clamorous  waters  of  the  rapids! 

I  trembled  in  the  deep  forest,  and  shuddered  at  the  over- 
hanging crags,  one  heaped  upon  another. 

Clouds  on  clouds  gathered  above,  threatening  rain; 

The  waters  gushed  below,  breaking  into  mist. 

A  peal  of  blasting  thunder! 
The  mountains  crumbled. 
The  stone  gate  of  the  hollow  heaven 
Opened  wide,  revealing 
A  vasty  realm  of  azure  without  bottom, 
Sun   and   moon   shining  together   on  gold   and   silver 

Clad  in  rainbow  and  riding  on  the  wind, 
The  ladies  of  the  air  descended  like  flower-flakes; 
The  faery  lords  trooping  in,  they  were  thick  as  hemp- 
stalks  in  the  fields. 

Phoenix  birds  circled  their  cars,  and  panthers  played 

upon  harps. 
Bewilderment  filled  me,  and  terror  seized  on  my  heart. 
I  lifted  myself  in  amazement,  and  alas! 
I  woke  and  found  my  bed  and  pillow — 
Gone  was  the  radiant  world  of  gossamer. 

So  with  all  pleasures  of  life. 
All  things  pass  with  the  east-flowing  water. 

His  Dream  of  the  Sky-Land 

I  leave  you  and  go — when  shall  I  return? 

Let  the  white  roe  feed  at  will  among  the  green  crags, 

Let  me  ride  and  visit  the  lovely  mountains! 

How  can  I  stoop  obsequiously  and  serve  the  mighty 

It  stifles  my  soul. 

In  this  poem  the  poet  describes  his  dream  of  visiting 
Mt.  Tien-mu,  "Fostermother  of  the  shies"  in  Chehkiang. 
The  other  mountains,  Chi-Cheng,  the  "Scarlet  Castle," 
and  Tien-tai,  the  "Terrace  of  Heaven"  are  located  in 
the  same  province. 

Prince  Hsieh  is  the  one  poet-governor  mentioned  in 




78.    IN  MEMORIAM 

(The  poet  mourns  Ho  Chi-chang) 

Ssu-ming  had  a  man  of  madness, 

Ho  Chi-chang,  frenzied  with  wind  and  stream. 

The  first  time  I  met  him  at  Chang-an, 

He  called  me  "a  god  in  exile." 

O  dear  lover  of  the  cup, 

He  has  turned  the  sod  under  the  pine  tree — 

He  who  bartered  his  gold  turtle  for  wine. 

Now,  alone,  I  shed  tears,  remembering  him. 

Ho  Chi-chang.  The  jovial  courtier  who  introduced 
Li  Po  to  Hsuan  Tsung.  Ssu-ming,  a  district  in  Cheh- 
hiang,  was  his  ancestral  home,  to  which  he  retired  and 
where  he  died.     See  the  Introduction,  also  No.  125. 

The  gold  turtle  was  probably  a  trinket  of  some  sort, 
worn  as  an  ornament. 


79.    ON  THE  ROAD  OF  AMBITION  > 

(The  poet  departs  from  Nan-ling  for  the  capital)  v 

Home  in  the  mountains  in  autumn-tide  IssL 

Of  new-brewed  wine  and  yellow  chick  fattened  on  grain.      ^^^ 
I  call  the  boy  to  boil  the  fowl  and  pour  the  white  wine,      p/| 
While  my  children,  playing  noisily  about,  tug  me  by    A?  -J 

the  sleeve. 
I  sing  and  imbibe  the  bland  ecstasy  of  the  cup ; 
I  rise  and  dance  in  the  tangled  beams  of  the  setting  sun. 

It  is  not  too  late  to  win  a  lord  of  ten  thousand  chariots. 
Let  me  ride  and  spur  my  horse  on  the  long,  long  road! 

The  silly  woman  of  Kuei-chi  may  scorn  Chu  Mai-chen,    " ' ^ 
I  take  leave  of  my  family  and  journey  west  to  Chin.      ^5 
Looking  up  at  the  sky,  I  laugh  aloud  and  go.  % ' 

Ha,  am  I  one  to  crawl  ever  in  the  dust-laden  weeds? 

Chu  Mai-chen.  Died  B.  C.  116.  A  wood-cutter  un- 
der the  Han  dynasty,  whose  wife  left  him  because  she 
could  not  endure  poverty.  By  diligent  study,  however, 
he  became  governor  of  Kuei-chi  in  Chehkiangj  and  his 
wife,  who  had  sunk  to  destitution,  begged  to  be  allowed 
to  rejoin  him.  But  he  replied,  "If  you  can  pick  up 
spilt  water,  you  may  return";  whereupon  his  wife  went 
and  hanged  herself — Giles:  Biographical  Dictionary 
No.  65. 

It  is  quite  likely  that  the  poet  by  the  "silly  woman 
of  Kuei-chi"  alludes  to  his  own  wife,  who  had  left  him 
because  of  his  poor  success  in  life. 


Why  have  I  come  hither,  after  all? 

Solitude  is  my  lot  at  Sand  Hill  City. 

There  are  old  trees  by  the  city  wall, 

And  busy  voices  of  autumn,  day  and  night. 

The  Luh  wine  will  not  soothe  my  soul, 

Nor  the  touching  songs  of  Chi  move  me; 

But  all  my  thoughts  flow  on  to  you 

With  the  waters  of  the  Min  endlessly  southward. 



If  heaven  loved  not  tKe  wine, 

A  Wine  Star  would  not  be  in  heaven; 

If  earth  loved  not  the  wine, 

The  Wine  Spring  would  not  be  on  the  earth. 

Since  heaven  and  earth  love  the  wine, 

Need  a  tippling  mortal  be  ashamed? 

The  transparent  wine,  I  hear, 

Has  the  soothing  virtue  of  a  sage, 

While  the  turgid  is  rich,  they  say, 

As  the  fertile  mind  of  the  wise. 

Both  the  sage  and  the  wise  were  drinkers, 

Why  seek  for  peers  among  gods  and  goblins?, 

Three  cups  open  the  grand  door  to  bliss; 

Take  a  jugful,  the  universe  is  yours. 

Such  is  the  rapture  of  the  wine, 

That  the  sober  shall  never  inherit. 




It  is  autumn  near  and  far. 
Outside  the  gate  all  the  hills  are  barren. 
A  white  cloud,  my  old  friend, 
Beckons  me  from  far  empyreal  space. 
Pray,  when  will  Luh  Chen-ho  come  back- 
He  who  has  flown  west  like  a  crane? 

A  native  commentator  remarks:  "This  poem  would 
be  better  if  the  last  two  lines  and  the  title  were  left 


83.    TO  THE  FISHERMAN  »  •• 

Shake  not  your  crown,  if  perfumed; 

Nor  flap  your  garment,  if  spiced  with  Ian!  ^tfL 

It  is  better  to  hide  the  chaste  soul's  radiance,  ^£2^ 

The  world  hates  a  thing  too  pure. 

There  goes  the  fisherman  of  Tsang-lang.  -J 

Await  me,  old  man,  I  will  go  with  you. 



The  flow-tide  ebbs  back  to  sea. 
My  friend  returned  to  Wu  from  banishment. 
I  asked  him  about  the  sorrows  of  exile. 
His  tears  fell  like  pearls  of  the  South  Sea. 



On  the  river  margin  of  Jo-yeh  she  is  gather-  *    ' 

ing  the  lotus;  *£ 

She  talks  to  her  companions  and  laughs  *  < 
among  the   lilies. 

The  clear  sunlit  water  reflects  her  gay  attire,  ^> 

And  her  perfumed  sleeves  flap  lightly  in  the  \&/ 

But  who  are  these  cavaliers  on  the  bank? 
By  twos,  by  threes,  they  glint  through  the 

drooping  willows; 
Their  horses  neigh  among  the  blown  flowers, 

and  are  gone. 
She  sees  and  lingers  with  an  anguish  in 

her  heart. 

The  Jo-yeh  River  is  in  Chehkiang,  and  flows  into 
Ching  Hu,  or  the  Mirror  Lake. 


You  had  a  yellow  steed, 
Mine  was  white. 
Their  colors  differed, 
Our  hearts  were  one. 

We  two  gay  blades  of  Lo-yang, 

Rode  the  city  street,  side  by  side, 

Flaunting  our  high  head-gears  gallantly, 

Our  long  swords  glancing  in  the  sun. 

Each  had  a  fur  coat  on,  worth  a  thousand  guilders; 

Both  were  guests  of  the  five  princes. 

Now  you  have  fallen  as  a  tiger  falls  in  a  trap-hole; 
And  suffer  miserably  as  strong  men  must  sometimes. 
But  when  you,  my  comrade,  are  so  distressed, 
What  avails  me  if  I  alone  can  flourish? 



87.    THE  DANCING  GIRL  A^. 

With  her  limpid  voice, 
Her  pearly  teeth  revealing, 
The  northern  maid,  the  prettiest  child, 
Sings  "Downy  grasses,"  instead  of  "Blue  water." 
Then,  brushing  her  face  with  her  long  sleeve,  she  rises 
for  your  sake. 

She  dances  like  the  winter-cloud  that  curls  over  the 

frothy  sea; 
She  dances  like  the  wild  fowl  of  Tartary,  wind-blown 

toward  the  sky. 

The  kingly  hall  is  full  of  radiant  faces;  the  pleasure 

will  not  end. 
With  sundown  the  flute  sounds  thicken,  and  the  mellow 

voices  of  the  singing  girls. 


^>  88.    THE  ROVER  OF  CHAO 

Oh,  the  Rover  of  Chao  with  his  Tartar-fashioned  cap, 
^r>      A  scimitar  on  his  side,  gleaming  bright  like  the  snow, 
T>w.   The  silver  saddle  glittering  on  his  white  horse, 
^^      Behold,  he  comes  and  is  gone  like  a  shooting  star; 

</Tj       Kills  a  man  at  every  ten  paces  as  he  goes, 

And  goes  he  a  thousand  miles  without  stopping. 

The  deed  done,  he  shakes  his  raiment  and  departs — 

None  knows  whither,  nor  even  his  name. 

He  stops  at  leisure  and  drinks  with  Prince  Hsin-ling, 
Laying  his  drawn  sword  across  his  knee; 
Picks  up  a  piece  of  roast  meat  for  Chu-hai  to  eat; 
Offers  a  goblet  of  wine  to  Hou-ying  to  drink; 

After  three  rounds  gives  a  pledge  of  fealty, 

And  weightier  is  his  vow  even  than  the  Five  Mountains. 

When  his  ears  are  hot  and  his  eyes  burn, 

His  heroic  soul  blazes  forth  like  a  rainbow. 

A  hammer  in  his  hand  saved  the  kingdom  of  Chao, 
And  the  whole  city  of  Han-tan  shook  with  terror. 
How  the  glory  of  two  such  strong  men  shines 
For  a  thousand  autumns  over  the  ramparts  of  Tai-Liang! 

Sweet  honor  perfumes  their  heroic  bones, 
Putting  to  shame  the  literati  of  the  world, 

The  Rover  of  Chao 

Who  can  only  recline  in  the  study 
And  whiten  their  heads  over  books  like  the  Tai-hsuan 

Wu  Chi  was  the  name  of  Prince  Hsin-ling  of  the  Wei 
state  in  the  3rd  century  B.  C. 

Hon  Ying  was  a  recluse  through  whom  Prince  Hsin- 
ling  obtained  the  service  of  Chu  Hai,  who  was  a  rover  of 
the  type  depicted  in  the  present  poem.  When  the  state 
of  Chao  was  attached  by  a  hostile  state  and  its  capital 
Han-tan  was  beleaguered,  Hsin-ling  and  Chu  Hai  went 
to  the  rescue.  Chu  Hai — a  very  strong  man — brained  an 
irresolute  general  with  a  heavy  hammer,  while,  by  taking 
command  of  his  army,  Hsin-ling  raised  the  siege  of 

Tai-liang  was  the  capital  of  the  State  of  Wei. 

Tai-hsuan     Ching.     A     learned     booh     written     by 
Yang  Hsiung  (B.  C.  58-A.  D.  18). 
[129]    ' 


When  the  brazen  Tartars  came  with  their  frightened 
horses  kicking  up  dust  and  sand, 

While  the  Tartar  horde  watered  their  horses  in  the  Tien- 
chin  River, 
^    You,  governor  of  Chang-yeh,  then,  resided  near  Wine 

I,  banished  nine  thousand  li,  was  in  the  land  of  Pa. 


When  the  world  was  put  to  order,  and  the  laws  made 
4p*  lenient, 

viy    I,  an  Yeh-lang  exile,  stricken  with  the  chilly  frost, 
~%      How  I  longed  for  my  friend  in  the  west  whom  I  could 
KcL  not  see. 

Only  the  east  wind  bore  my  dream  back  to  Chang-an. 

*%  ^  What  a  chance  that  I  met  you  in  this  place ! 

In  joy  and  bewilderment  I  felt  like  one  fallen  from  the 

And  amid  the  noise  of  pipes  and  flutes  at  the  joyous 

I  endeavored  in  vain  to  utter  long  sentences. 

Yesterday,  clad  in  a  biocade  robe,  I  poured  the  costly 

To-day,   sore-afflicted,   I   am   dumb   like   the   speechless 

Once  I  rode  on  horseback  in  the  great  imperial  park; 

Now  I  jog  about  slowly  from  house  to  house  of  man- 


To  his  Friend  at  Chiang -Hsia 

At  Nan-ping  I  met  the  governor  and  opened  my  heart; 
Now  with  you  I  may  hold  sweet  conversation. 
Even  as  the  leagues  of  cloud  melt  above  the  mountain, 
Opening  the  view  of  the  blue  sky  around,  so  melts  my 

Oh,  grief!     Oh,  bitter  pain,  and  pain  evermore! 

Sorrowing,  I  drink  two  thousand  jugs  of  wine — 

The  cold  ashes  are  warm  again,  and  the  spring  is  born. 

And  you,  jolly  wise  host  without  compare, 

Drunken,  you  go  about,  riding  on  the  back  of  a  mule. 

In  the  cloister  yonder  under  clouds  and  the  moon  there 

are  monks  galore. 
But  the  mountains  and  waters — did  they  ever  cater  to 

man's  desires? 
Ah,  no!     Better  blow  your  reed  pipes,  beat  your  drums, 

and  wanton  on  the  river  water. 
Call  forth  the  young  girls  of  the  south  and  bid  them 

sing  the  boat  songs! 

I  will  knock  down  the  Yellow  Crane  House  for  you  with 
a  hammer, 

You  may  upset  the  Parrot  Island,  too,  for  my  sake. 

The  heroic  battle  of  the  Red  Walls  was  fought  as  in  a 
dream — 

Let  me  sing  and  dance  and  lighten  the  sorrow  of  sep- 
aration ! 



Westward  I  ascend  the  Peak  of  Incense  Burner; 
Southward  I  see  the  mighty  waterfall. 
It  plunges  three  hundred   chang  down  the   mountain, 
And  froths  for  miles  in  the  rapids  below. 
lAfc     As  wind-driven  snow  speed  the  waters, 

Like  a  white  rainbow  spanning  the  dark. 
I  wonder  if  Heaven's  River  had  fallen  from  above 
To  course  through  the  mid-sky  of  clouds. 
jftL      Long  I  lift  my  gaze — Oh,  prodigious  force! 
f       How  majestic  the  creation  of  gods! 

Unwavering  before  the  ocean  winds  that  blow, 
JfcJ^.    Glaring  at  the  faint  moon  from  over  the  river, 
Profusely  it  sprays  the  sky 
And  drenches  the  green  mountain  walls. 
The  swift  torrents  boil  over  giant  rocks; 
The  flying  water  scatters  a  mist  of  ethereal  gems. 

0  mountains  of  renown  that  I  adore, 

You  fill  my  heart  with  deep  repose. 

No  longer  need  I  take  the  potion  of  precious  stones, 

You  can  wash  away  the  earth  stains  from  my  face. 

Let  me  be  with  the  things  I  love, 

And  leave  the  world  of  man  forever. 



The  sun  shines  on  the  Peak  of  Incense  Burner, 
And  the  purple  vapor  rises  like  smoke. 
Lo,  the  long  stream  of  water  hung  up  yonder! 
Straight  down  three  thousand  chi  the  flying  torrent  leaps, 
As  if  the  Silver  River  were  falling  from  the  ninth  heaven. 

The  Silver  River,  i.  e.,  The  Milky  Way, 



Bereft  of  their  love, 
Huang  and  Yin,  the  royal  ladies  of  old, 
Ranged  the  banks  of  Hsiao  and  Hsiang,  south  of  Tung- 
-g>y:    They  wandered  by  the  fathomless  waters  of  the  deep* 
All  the  world  tells  the  tale  of  their  misery. 

Dark  is  the  day,  and  dismal  the  clouds; 

Demons  howl  in  the  fog  and  infernal  spirits  whistle  in 

the  rain. 
Ah,  me!     What  would  it  avail  me  if  I  dared  to  speak? 
High  heaven  shines  not,  I  fear,  on  the  loyalty  of  my 

Clouds  gather  clouds, — they  would  roar  aloud  in  anger. 
Even  Yao  and  Shun  ruling,  the  scepter  would  pass  to 

A  king,  deprived  of  his  minister,  is  a  dragon  turned 

to  a  fish; 
A  minister  usurps  power,  lo!  a  mouse  is  become  a  tiger. 

Yao  was  imprisoned,  they  say,  and  Shun  died  in  the 
open  field. 

The  Nine  Hills  of  Perplexity  stand  in  a  row,  one  re- 
sembling another — 

How  could  they  find  the  solitary  mound  of  the  Double- 
pupiled  One? 

The  king's  daughters  cried  where  the  black  clouds 


Bereft  of  Their  Love 

Their  lord  was  gone  like  wind  and  wave  never  to  return. 
They  wept  and  moaned,  and  gazed  into  the  distance. 
Gazed  longingly  toward  the  deep  mountains  of  Tsang-wu. 

The  Mountains  of  Tsang-wu  may  crumble,  the  River 

Hsiang  go  dry. 
Their  tears  on  the  bamboo  leaves  will  not  fade  forever. 

Huang  and  Hu  Yin  (2Jfth  century  B.  C.)  were  two 
daughters  of  Emperor  Yao,  who  gave  them  in  marriage 
to  his  successor,  Shun — the  Double-pupiled  One.  Shun, 
while  traveling  south  in  the  district  of  Tsang-wu  (Hu- 
nan Province)  died  and  was  buried  in  the  field.  The 
two  wives  arrived  too  late  to  meet  their  husband,  and 
their  tear-marks  produced  a  new  species  of  bamboo  with 
speckled  leaves.     Yui  succeeded  Shun  as  emperor. 

The  original  of  this  poem,  much  prized  for  its  verbal 
beauty  and  its  classic  allegory,  is  quite  obscure.  The 
native  commentators  have  a  great  deal  to  say  on  the 
significance  of  the  second  stanza.  At  any  rate,  it  is 
clear  that  Li  Po,  while  retelling  the  well-known  legend, 
alludes  to  his  separation  from  the  emperor  and  to  the 
unhappy  state  of  affairs  at  the  court  that  was  infested 
with  unworthy  and  wicked  men. 



93.    LADY  WANG-CHAO— I 

Lady  Chao  brushes  the  saddle  inlaid  with  pearl; 

She  mounts  her  palfrey  and  weeps, 

Wetting  her  rose-red  cheeks  with  tears. 

To-day  a  high-born  lady  in  the  palace  of  Han, 

To-morrow  in  a  far  land 

She  will  be  a  barbarian  slave. 

Lady  Wang-chao,  a  lady  in  the  seraglio  of  the  em- 
peror Yuan-ti  of  the  Han  dynasty,  was  one  of  the  early 
victims  of  the  political  marriages,  which  the  ruling  house 
of  China  was  compelled  to  make  from  time  to  time  with 
the  chieftains  of  the  barbarian  tribes  in  order  to  avoid 
their  savage  incursions  into  the  Middle  Flower  Kingdom. 

This  emperor  had  so  many  beauties,  it  is  said,  that 
for  the  sake  of  convenience  he  ordered  their  portraits  to 
be  painted.  All  the  ladies  bribed  the  artist,  except 
Lady  Wang-chao,  who  was  consequently  very  unfavor- 
ably represented  in  the  private  gallery  of  the  sovereign. 
So  when  a  lady  of  the  palace  had  to  be  presented  to  a 
Tartar  chieftain,  the  emperor  chose  Wang-chao,  believ- 
ing her  to  be  the  easiest  one  to  spare.  He  discovered 
his  mistake  too  late.  She  died  in  the  barbarian  land; 
singularly  enough,  over  her  little  mound  in  the  desert 
the  grass,  they  say,  was  always  green, 



The  moon  above  the  palace  of  Han 

And  above  the  land  of  Chin,  *T  JT 

Shedding  a  flood  of  silvery  light,  $*& 

Bids  the  radiant  lady  farewell. 
She  sets  out  on  the  road  of  the  Jewel  Gate — 

The  road  she  will  not  travel  back. 
The  moon  returns  above  the  palace  of  Han, 

Rising  from  the  eastern  seas, 
But  the  radiant  lady  wed  in  the  west, 

She  will  return  nevermore. 
On  the  Mongolian  mountains  flowers  are  made 

Of  the  long  winter's  snow. 
The  moth-eyebrowed  one,  broken-hearted, 

Lies  buried  in  the  desert  sand. 
Living,  she  lacked  the  gold, 

And  her  portrait  was  distorted; 
Dying  she  leaves  a  green  mound, 

Which  moves  all  the  world  to  pity. 




95.    THE  NORTH  WIND 

The  lamp-bearing  dragon  nestles  over  the  polar  gate, 

And  his  light  illumines  the  frigid  zone. 

For  neither  the  sun  nor  the  moon  shines  there, 

But  only  the  north  wind  comes,  blowing  and  howling 
from  heaven. 

The  snow-flakes  of  the  Yen  mountains  are  big  like  pil- 

They  are  blown  down,  myriads  together,  over  the  Hsuan- 
yuan  palace. 

'Tis  December.    Lo,  the  pensive  maid  of  Yu-chow! 
She  will  not  sing,  she  will  not  smile;  her  moth-eyebrows 

are  disheveled. 
She   stands    by   the    gate   and    watches   the   wayfarers 

Remembering  him  who  snatched  his  sword  and  went  to 

save  the  borderland, 
Him  who  suffered  bitterly  in  the  cold  beyond  the  Great 

Him    who   fell    in   the   battle    and   will   never   come 


In  the  tiger-striped  gold  case  he  left  for  her  keeping 
There  remains  a  pair  of  white-feathered  arrows 
Amid  the  cobwebs  and  dust  gathered  of  long  years — 
Oh,  empty  tokens  of  love,  too  sad  to  look  upon! 
She  takes  them  out  and  burns  them  to  ashes. 

The  North  Wind 

By  building  a  dam  one  may  stop  the  flow  of  the  Yellow 

But  who  can   assuage  the  grief  of  her  heart  when  it 

snows  and  the  north  wind  blows? 




The  bright  moon  is  above  the  Peak  of  Heaven 
In  the  far  cloud-sea  of  Tartary. 

The  wind  sweeps  on  for  ten  thousand  miles 
And  blows  over  the  Pass  of  the  Jewel  Gate. 

The  imperial  army  marches  down  the  Po-tung  road 
While  the  barbarian  foe  pries  the  Bay  of  Chin-hai. 

The  warriors  watch  the  skies  of  the  borderland, 
And  many  faces  are  sad  with  thoughts  of  home. 

Never  yet  from  the  battlefield 
A  man  was  seen  returning — al'as! 

To-night  at  the  high  house,  where  she  is  waiting, 
There  is  sighing  and  moaning  without  ceasing. 

The  Jewel  Gate  Pass,  or  Yu-men,  in  Anhsi,  Kansu. 
Po-tung.     Perhaps,  Ba-tung,  on  the  old  trade  route 
to  Tibet. 

Ching-hai.     Kokonor,  a  lake  in  Mongolia. 


Last  year  we  fought  by  the  head-stream  of  the  So-kan, 

This  year  we  are  fighting  on  the  Tsung-ho  road. 

We  have  washed  our  armor  in  the  waves  of  the  Chiao- 

chi  lake, 
We  have   pastured   our   horses   on   Tien-shan's   snowy 

The  long,  long  war  goes  on  ten  thousand  miles  from 

Our  three  armies  are  worn  and  grown  old. 

The  barbarian  does  man-slaughter  for  plowing; 

On  his  yellow  sand-plains  nothing  has  been  seen  but 

blanched  skulls  and  bones. 
Where  the  Chin  emperor  built  the  walls  against  the 

There  the  defenders  of  Han  are  burning  beacon  fires. 
The  beacon  fires  burn  and  never  go  out, 
There  is  no  end  to  war! — 

In  the  battlefield  men  grapple  each  other  and  die; 
The  horses  of  the  vanquished  utter  lamentable  criep  <6 

While  ravens  and  kites  peck  at  human  entrails, 
Carry  them  up  in  their  flight,  and  hang  them  on  the 

branches  of  dead  trees. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

So,  men  are  scattered  and  smeared  over  the  desert  grass, 
And  the  generals  have  accomplished  nothing. 

Oh,  nefarious  war!     I  see  why  arms 

Were  so  seldom  used  by  the  benign  sovereigns. 




The  spring  wind  comes  from  the  east  and  quickly  passes, 
Leaving  faint  ripples  in  the  wine  of  the  golden  bowl. 
The  flowers  fall,  flake  after  flake,  myriads  together. 

You,  pretty  girl,  wine-flushed, 

Your  rosy  face  is  rosier  still. 

How  long  may  the  peach  and  plum  trees  flower 

By  the  green-painted  house? 

The  fleeting  light  deceives  man, 

Brings  soon  the  stumbling  age. 

Rise  and  dance 
In  the  westering  sun, 

While  the  urge  of  youthful  years  is  yet  unsubdued! 
What  avails  to  lament  after  one's  hair  has  turned  white 
like  silken  threads? 





You,  the  dweller  of  the  East  Mountain, 

You,  the  lover  of  the  beauty  of  hills  and  valleys, 

In  the  green  spring  you  sleep  in  the  empty  woodland, 

And  hardly  rise  in  the  broad  daylight. 

The  pine  wind  shakes  your  garment, 

And  the  stony  brook  cleanses  your  soul. 

How  I  envy  you,  who,  unperturbed, 

Are  pillowed  high  in  a  mist  of  emerald!   • 


100.    LINES 

Cool  is  the  autumn  wind, 

Clear  the  autumn  moon, 

The  blown  leaves  heap  up  and  scatter  again; 

A  raven,  cold-stricken,  starts  from  his  roost. 

Where  are  you,  beloved? — When  shall  I  see  you  once 

Ah,  how  my  heart  aches  to-night — this  hour! 





The  lovely  Lo-foh  of  the  land  of  Chin, 
:fe  Is  plucking  mulberry  leaves  by  the  blue  water. 

^&t**       On  the  green  boughs  her  white  arms  gleam, 

And  the  bright  sun  shines  upon  her  scarlet  dress. 

&12ji         "My  silk-worms,"  says  she,  "are  hungry,  I  must  go. 

*^5A»        "Tarry  not  with  your  five  horses,  Prince,  I  pray!" 

Lo-foh  is  the  heroine  of  a  popular  ballad,  which  was 
already  old  at  Li  Po's  time,  and  which  served  as  the 
basis  of  the  present  poem.  The  original,  much  longer 
and  charmingly  naive,  runs  as  follows: 

The  sun  rises  from  the  southeast  nooJe. 
It  shines  on  the  house  of  Master  Chin. 
Master  Chin,  he  has  a  comely  daughter. 
Lo-foh  is  her  name. 

Lo-foh  feeds  her  silk-worms  well. 

She  picks  mulberry  leaves  south  of  the  city. 

Her  basket  has  a  cord  of  blue  silk; 

And  a  hook  made  of  a  laurel  branch. 

Her  hair  is  dressed  in  pretty  knots  of  Wa-doj 
Bright  moonstones  hang  from  her  ears. 
Of  yellow  silk  is  her  petticoat, 
And  of  purple  silk  her  jacket. 

Ballads  of  the  Four  Seasons 

The  Lord  Governor,  he  comes  from  the  south, 

His  five  horses  stop  and  stay. 

The  Lord  Governor  bids  his  men  aslc; 

And  they  say:     "Who  art  thou,  little  maid?" 

"I  am  the  fair  daughter  of  Master  Chin, 

"Lo-foh  is  my  name." 

"How  old  art  thou,  Lo-foh?" 

"I  am  still  less  than  twenty, 

"But  more  than  fifteen — yea,  much  more." 

The  Lord  Governor,  he  entreats  Lo-foh. 

Says  he,  "Wilt  thou  ride  with  me,  yea  or  nay?" 

Lo-foh  comes  forward  and  replies: 

"My  Lord  Governor,"  says  she,  "how  foolish,  indeed! 

"My  Lord  Governor,  you  have  your  own  lady, 

"And  Lo-foh,  she  has  a  man  of  her  own" 





On  the  Mirror  Lake  three  hundred  li  around 

Gaily  the  lotus  lilies  bloom. 

She  gathers  them — Queen  Hsi-shih,  in  Maytime! 

A  multitude  jostles  on  the  bank,  watching. 

Her  boat  turns  back  without  waiting  the  moonrise, 

And  glides  away  to  the  house  of  the  amorous  Yueh  king. 

Queen  Hsi-shih,     See  Note  under  No,  J^S, 




The  moon  is  above  the  city  of  Chang-an, 
From  ten  thousand  houses  comes  the  sound  of  cloth- 
pounding;  J*** 
The  sad  autumn  wind  blows,  and  there  is  no  end 
To  my  thought  of  you  beyond  the  Jewel  Gate  Pass. 
When  will  the  barbarian  foe  be  vanquished, 
And  you,  my  beloved,  return  from  the  far  battlefield? 


Cloth-pounding  is  the  ironing  part  in  the  old-fashioned 
Chinese  laundering  process.  On  account  of  the  hardness 
of  the  wooden  stand  and  mallet  employed  for  it,  the 
pounding  produces  a  shrill  metallic  sound.  Women 
working  late,  and  their  mallets  clanging  through  the 
night,  have  long  been  a  popular  theme  for  poets. 

In  the  present  poem  the  situation  is  pathetic  since 
from  the  ten  thousand  houses,  where  women  are  work- 
ing late  in  the  night,  men  have  gone  to  the  far  battle 

The  Jewel  Gate  Pass,  is  located  at  the  western  ex- 
tremity of  Kansu  province. 




yr~-  WINTER 

The  courier  will  depart  on  the  morrow  for  the  front. 
£f        All  night  she  sews  a  soldier's  jacket. 
<^/^    Her  fingers,  plying  the  needle,  are  numb  with  cold; 

Scarce  can  she  hold  the  icy  scissors. 
3^>      At  last  the  work  is  done;  she  sends  it  a  long,  long  way, 
SrV    Oh,  how  many  days  before  it  reaches  him  in  Lin-tao? 

Lin-tao,  a  town  on  the  frontier  of  Tu-fan,  whose  war- 
like tribes  had  harassed  the  Chinese  empire*  for  cen- 
turies past. 



(A  river-merchant's  wife  writes) 

I  would  play,  plucking  flowers  by  the  gate; 

My  hair  scarcely  covered  my  forehead,  then. 

You  would  come,  riding  on  your  bamboo  horse,  >^» 

And  loiter  about  the  bench  with  green  plums  for  toys.  ^1 

So  we  both  dwelt  in  Chang-kan  town,  ^ 

We  were  two  children,  suspecting  nothing.  **^" 

At  fourteen  I  became  your  wife, 

And  so  bashful  that  I  could  never  bare  my  face, 

But  hung  my  head,  and  turned  to  the  dark  wall; 

You  would  call  me  a  thousand  times,- 

But  I  could  not  look  back  even  once. 

At  fifteen  I  was  abl'e  to  compose  my  eyebrows, 

And  beg  you  to  love  me  till  we  were  dust  and  ashes. 

You  always  kept  the  faith  of  Wei-sheng, 

Who  waited  under  the  bridge,  unafraid  of  death, 

I  never  knew  I  was  to  climb  the  Hill  of  Wang-fu 

And  watch  for  you  these  many  days. 

I  was  sixteen  when  you  went  on  a  long  journey, 
Traveling  beyond  the  Keu-Tang  Gorge, 
Where  the  giant  rocks  heap  up  the  swift  river, 
And  the  rapids  are  not  passable  in  May. 
Did  you  hear  the  monkeys  wailing 
Up  on  the  skyey  height  of  the  crags? 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Do  you  know  your  foot-marks  by  our  gate  are  old, 
And  each  and  every  one  is  filled  up  with  green  moss? 

The  mosses  are  too  deep  for  me  to  sweep  away; 

And  already  in  the  autumn  wind  the  leaves  are  falling. 

The  yellow  butterflies  of  October 

Flutter  in  pairs  over  the  grass  of  the  west  garden. 

My  heart  aches  at  seeing  them.  .  .  . 

I  sit  sorrowing  alone,  and  alas! 

The  vermilion  of  my  face  is  fading. 

Some  day  when  you  return  down  the  river, 

If  you  will  write  me  a  letter  beforehand, 

I  will  come  to  meet  you — the  way  is  not  long — 

I  will  come  as  far  as  the  Long  Wind  Beach  instantly. 

Chang-kan  is  a  suburb  of  Nanking. 

The  Long  Wind  Beach,  or  Chang-feng  SRa,  is  in  An- 
hwei,  several  hundred  miles  up  the  river,  from  Nanking. 
It  is  really  a  long  way.  But  by  making  the  wife  say 
that  the  way  is  not  long,  Li  Po  brings  out  the  girlishness 
of  the  speaker. 

Wang-fu  means  "husband  watching"  and  more  than 
one  hill  has  taken  that  name  because  of  a  similar  tra- 
dition of  a  forlorn  wife  who  climbed  the  height  to  watch 
for  the  return  of  her  husband. 

Wei  Sheng.  6th  century  B.  C.  He  was  a  young  man 
of  fidelity.  He  promised  to  meet  a  girl  under  a  bridge 
in  Chang-an,  and  waited  for  her  there.  Though  the 
girl  did  not  appear  and  the  river  water  was  rising,  he 
would  not  leave  his  post  and  was  drowned. 

106.    TWO  LETTERS  FROM  CHANG-KAN— II         - 

(Another  river-merchant's  wife  writes)  pN^ 

I  lived  in  my  maiden  bower,  jZr* 

Unaware  of  all  things  of  the  world.  / 

Since  married  to  you  of  Chang-kan  town, 

I  wander  the  river  bank  to  spy  the  weather.  S~~T~ 

In  May  the  south  wind  blows,  '  >l 

I  think  of  you  sailing  down  to  Pa-ling;  («^ 

In  August  the  west  wind  arises, 

And  I  know  you  will  part  from  Yangtzu. 

You  come  and  go,  I  sorrow  ever, 

Seeing  you  so  little,  and  living  so  much  apart. 

When  will  you  arrive  at  Hsiang-tan? 

My  dream  goes  over  the  wind-tossed  waves. 

Last  night  a  storm  went  past  in  fury, 

Tearing  down  trees  on  the  riverside, 

Spreading  darkness  without  end — 

Where  were  you,  then,  poor  traveler? 

Would  I  could  ride  the  swift-drifting  cloud, 

And  meet  you  in  good  time  east  of  Orchid  Beach! 

Oh,    the   happy    pair   of    mandarin-ducks    among    the 

And  the  purple  kingfishers,  embroidered  on  the  gold 

screen ! 
Why  at  fifteen  years  and  little  more, 
My  face  pink  like  the  peach  flower, 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Have  I  become  a  river  merchant's  wife, 

To  grieve  over  winds  and  grieve  again  over  waves! 

Pa-ling,  is  another  name  for  Yo-chow,  Hunan. 
Hsiang-tan,  in  Chang-sha  fu,  Hunan. 


TOWER  >g^ 

An  exile,  I  ascend  this  tower, 

rvu    caiic,    x    datum    tuis    lunci,  r"* -^ 

Thinking  of  home,  and  with  the  anguish  of  the  waning  ^f$T 

The  sun  has  set  far  beyond  heaven's  immensity; 
The  unsullied  waters  flow  on  in  bleak  undulation. 
I  see  a  stray  cloud  of  Chin  above  the  mountain  trees, 
And  the  wild  geese  of  Tartary  flying  over  the  river  dunes. 
Alas!  for  ten  thousand  miles  under  the  dark  blue  sky 
As  far  as  my  eyes  can  reach,  there  is  but  one  vast 

gloom  for  me. 

Both  the  stray  cloud  and  the  migratory  birds  remind 
the  poet  of  his  own  wanderings. 







A  dog  barks  afar  where  the  waters  croon. 

The  peach  flowers  are  deeper-tinted,  wet  with  rain. 

The  wood  is  so  thick  that  one  espies  a  deer  at  times, 

But  cannot  hear  the  noon  bell  in  this  lonely  glen. 

The  wild  bamboos  sway  in  the  blue  mist, 

And  on  the  green  mountainside  flying  cascades  glistep 

What  way  has  he  gone?     There  is  none  to  tell; 

Sadly  I  lean  against  a  pine  tree  here  and  there. 

Mount  Tai-tien  is  where  Li  Po  used  to  live,  and  is 
Jcnown  also  as  the  Tai-kuang  Mountain.  Tu  Fu  men- 
tion it  in  one  of  his  poems  addressed  to  Li  Po.  See 
No.  127. 

"So  to  your  old  place  of  reading  in  Mount  Kuang." 

109.    AT  THE  CELL  OF  AN  ABSENT  =? 


By  a  stony  wall  I  enter  the  Red  Valley. 

The  pine-tree  gate  is  choked  up  with  green  moss; 

There  are  bird-marks  on  the  deserted  steps, 

But  none  to  open  the  door  of  the  priest's  cell. 

I  peer  through  the  window  and  see  his  white  brush 

Hung  on  the  wall  and  covered  with  dust. 

Disappointed,  I  sigh  in  vain; 

I  would  go,  but  loiter  wistfully  about. 

Sweet  scented  clouds  are  wafted  along  the  mountainside, 

And  a  rain  of  flowers  falls  from  the  sky. 

Here  I  may  taste  the  bliss  of  solitude 

And  listen  to  the  plaint  of  blue  monkeys. 

Ah,  what  tranquility  reigns  over  this  ground! 

What  isolation  from  all  things  of  the  world! 

The  white  brush  is  carried  by  the  priest  as  a  symbol 
of  purity  and  cleanliness. 





The  stream  reflects  the  lean  foliage  of  a  pine — 

An  old  pine  of  unremembered  years. 

The  cold  moonlight  gleams  on  the  tremulous  water, 

And  pours  into  my  room  by  the  window  door. 

I  prolong  my  futile  singing  to-night, 

Deploring  thee — how  deeply,  0  prince! 

For  no  more  shalt  thou  see  a  true  vassal  like  An-tao. 

My  song,  ceasing,  leaves  the  grief  in  my  heart. 

This  is  a  poem  composed  probably  after  the  rebellion 
of  An  Lu-shan  and  the  flight  of  the  emperor  from  the 
capital,  the  "prince**  referring  to  the  emperor. 

111.    A  VISIT  TO  YUAN  TAN-CHIU  IN  & 


Forth  to  sylvan  retreats  I  went,  a  vagabond,  ^>r 

Led  by  pleasure,  and  of  the  distance  unaware.  Xx?\ 

The  blue  range  yonder  lay  too  far  to  travel  "^ 

When  the  giddy  sun  was  ready  to  set. 

Barely  had  I  crossed  three,  four  hills; 

The  road  had  taken  a  thousand  and  ten  thousand  turns 



Mountains  thrust  their  peaks  in  the  mid-sky;  j*£ 

I  could  have  climbed  and  gazed  forever  /yj 

When  Tan-chiu,  my  friend,  called  me  from  afar. 
He  looked  at  me  and  burst  into  laughter. 

I  heard  the  monkeys  wail  in  the  still  twilight, 

And  saw  the  clouds  roll  away  one  by  one. 

Now  came  the  dainty  moon  over  the  tall  pines, 

How  exquisite  the  autumnal  scene  of  a  hollow  glen! 

There  was  old  snow  left  in  the  deep  ravine, 

And  the  frosty  rapids  flew,  cutting  through  rock. 

I  went  to  his  hermitage  down  the  valley 
And  entered  the  solitude  of  a  recluse. 
Here  we  delighted  ourselves  night-long — 
It  was  lucid  day-break  when  I  spoke  of  going. 




By  a  pale  lantern — under  the  cold  moon 

We  were  drinking  heavily  together. 

Frightened  by  our  orgies,  a  white  heron 

Flaffed  out  of  the  river  shallows.    It  was  midnight 


113.    THE  SONG  OF  LUH  SHAN 



Really  I  am  a  mad  man  of  Chu,  ,,       j^ 

Singing  the  phoenix-bird  song  and  laughing  at  the  sage    -fSp  % 

At  dawn  a  green  jade  staff  in  my  hand,  Ai|/      . 

I  leave  the  Yellow  Crane  House  and  go,  >     J£ 

Seeking  genii  among  the  Five  Mountains,  forgetting  the    J3-   PJ 

All  my  life  I've  loved  to  visit  the  mountains  of  renown. 

The  Luh  Shan  looms  near  the  constellation  of  the  South 

Like  a  nine-fold  screen   adorned  with  embroidery  of 

And  the  clear  lake  reflects  its  gleaming  emerald. 
The  two  peaks  shoot  up  high  where  the  Gold  Gate  opens 

And  over  against  the  far  waterfall  of  the  Censer  Moun- 
The  cascades  of  San-shi-liang  hang  like  the  Silver  River 

of  heaven. 
The  craggy  ranges  over- reach  the  azure  blue; 
And  girdled  in  pink  mist  and  green  foliage, 
They  glisten  in  the  morning  sun. 

The  birds  cannot  fly  over — to  the  remote  skies  of  Wu. 
I  ascend  the  high  place  and  look  out  on  heaven  and 

Lo!  the  waters  of  the  great  Kiang  flow  on  and  on  never 

to  return. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Anon,  blowing  yellow  clouds  miles  upon  miles,  the  wind 

And  through  the  nine  provinces  white  billows  roll  on 

like  mountains  of  snow. 

I  love  to  make  the  song  of  Luh  Shan. 

Luh  Shan  is  my  joy  and  inspiration. 

I  gaze  idly  into  the  Stone  Mirror  to  cleanse  my  soul, 

Though  the  path  Prince  Shieh  went  is  lost  under  deep 

green  moss. 
I've  swallowed  early  the  sacred  pellet  and  forsaken  all 

worldly  desires. 
Playing  on  the  harp  thrice  over,  I've  attained  the  Way. 
I  see  genii  amid  the  iridescent  clouds  afar, 
Going  up  to  the  celestial  city  with  lotus  in  their  hands. 
I  shall  meet  the  Illimitable  above  the  ninth  heaven, 
Then,  with  Lu-ao  I  hope  to  journey  to  the  Great  Void. 

Luh  Shan  is  a  mountain  near  Kiu-kiang,  Kiangsi. 

When  Confucius  was  visiting  the  land  of  Chu,  a  mad 
man  named  Tsu  Yu  passed  him  by,  laughing  and  sing- 
ing, "0  phoenix  bird,  0  phoenix  bird!"  etc.  The  sage 
attempted  in  vain  to  have  an  interview  with  him. 

The  last  stanza  refers  to  the  poet's  Taoistic  attain- 
ment and  visions, 



These  three  poems  were  written  in  755  when  he  was 
setting  out  to  join  Li  Ling,  the  prince  of  Yung. 

As  to  the  significance  of  the  Hill  of  Wang-fu,  see  the 
note  under  No.  105.  There  was  a  hill  by  that  'name 
near  Hsuan-cheng,  Anhweu 



Thrice  my  prince  has  called.     I  shall  go,  and  not  return. 
To-morrow  morn  I  take  leave  of  you,  *K\ 

And  cross  the  pass  of  Wu  Kuan.  ^ 

In  vain  you  shall  look  for  me  in  the  white  jade  house, 
But  you  must  go  and  climb  the  Hill  of  Wang-fu  long- 




At  the  gate  you  still  hold  me  by  the  robe, 
And  ask  me  when  I  shall  come  back  from  the  west. 
I  will  return  some  day,  wearing,  perhaps,  a  seal  of  gold. 
And  you  will  not  imitate  the  wife  of  Su  Chin, 
Who  came  not  down  from  her  loom. 


Su  Chin  (died  B.  C.  817)  was  a  native  of  Lo-yang. 
In  his  youthful  years  he  went  out,  seeking  for  a  career, 
but  returned  in  rags  and  tatters.  His  wife  would  not 
take  the  trouble  of  leaving  her  place  at  the  loom  in  order 
to  greet  him.  However,  he  succeeded  later  in  his  scheme 
of  the  federation  of  six  weaker  states  against  the  strong 
state  of  Chin,  and  he  was  appointed  prime  minister  of 
each  of  the  six  states  thus  combined.  A  seal  of  gold  was 
given  to  a  state  minister  as  the  symbol  of  authority. 

In  this  poem  Li  Po*s  political  ambition  is  evident. 



Gold  are  the  staircases,  and  like  a  kingfisher's  wings 
Sparkle  the  towers  of  the  house  where  I  shall  be.  t*}\ 

But  the  thought  of  you,  my  dear,  who  will  stand  alone     - 
By  the  ancient  gate  and  weep,  !?NL 

Will  make  me  sit  awake  at  night  by  the  lonely  lamp,      ^^ 
And  watch  the  dying  moon  of  dawn;  Jt^Sf* 

And  all  my  tears  shall  flow  as  I  journey  on  to  the  west.    i^*^ 


117.    ON  HIS  WHITE  HAIR 

On  the  face  of  the  bright  mirror,  I  wonder, 
Whence  has  come  this  hoar  frost  of  autumn! 
Ah,  my  long,  long  white  hair  of  three  thousand  chang, 
Grown  so  long  with  the  cares  of  this  world! 

Chang  is  a  Chinese  unit  of  measure  equal,  perhaps,  to 
ten  feet.  White  hair  80,000  feet  is  certainly  long. 
But  this  is  not  ludicrous  to  Chinese  taste,  for  it  is  not  a 
foolish  extravagance  but  an  innocent  form  of  poetic  in- 

In  Chinese  literature  figures  such  as  one  thousand, 
three  thousands,  and  ten  thousands,  simply  denote  a 
large  number.  So  we  read  constantly  of  a  party  of  ten 
thousand  guests,  a  waterfall  three  thousand  feet  high, 
and  a  man  emptying  one  thousand  jugfuls  of  wine. 




Once  we  dwelt  in  the  city  of  Chang-an 

In  wild  ecstasy  of  flowers  and  willow-green. 

We  drank  our  wine  from  the  same  bowls 

With  five  princes  and  seven  dukes. 

Our  hearts  rose  and  grew  blither, 

Unflinching   in   the   presence   of   a   warrior   lord; 

Nor  did  we  fall  behind  any  one,  when, 

Delighting  in  wind  and  stream,  we  sought  beauty.        jX^ 

You  had  red  cheeks,  then;  and  I  was  young,  too. 
We  sped  our  horses  to  Chang-tai's  pleasure  mart, 
And  lightly  carried  our  crops  of  gold;  .    * 

Offered  our  essays  in  the  court  examination;  **T i\ 

And  sat  feasting  at  a  tortoise  table;  ^r_aj 

And  there  was  endless  singing  and  dancing;  ...  k  c* 

We  thought  it  would  last  forever,  you  and  I —  •<* 

How  were  we  to  know  that  the  grass  would  tremble 
And  the  wind  and  dust  come,  roaring  down? 

Down  through  the  Han-ku  Pass 
The  Tartar  horsemen  came. 
I  am  an  exile  now,  traveling  heavy-hearted, 
Far  away  to  the  land  of  Yeh-lang. 
The  peach  and  plum  trees  by  the  palace 
Are  opening  their  petals  toward  the  light — 
Ah,  when  will  the  Gold  Cock  bring  me  pardon, 
And  I  may  return  to  you  from  banishment? 

The  Gold  Cock  was  displayed  as  symbol  for  amnesty. 



A  wandering  exile,  I  came  away  to  Long  Beach. 

I  gazed  toward  home,  beyond  the  horizon, 

Toward  the  city  of  Chang-an. 

I  heard  some  one  in  the  Yellow  Crane  House, 

Playing  on  the  sweet  bamboo  flute 

The  tune  of  the  "Falling  Plum  Flowers"  .  .  . 

It  was  May  in  the  waterside  city. 





Whence  comes  this  voice  of  the  sweet  bamboo, 

Flying  in  the  dark? 

It  flies  with  the  spring  wind, 

Hovering  over  the  city  of  Lo. 

How  memories  of  home  come  back  to-night! 

Hark!   the  plaintive  tune  of  "Willow-breaking."  .  .  .    ±& 


The  "Willoxv-breaking"  was  a  popular  parting  song. 



J*-  -^  Westward  from  Tung-ting  the  Chu  River  branches  out, 

<&  /&)P  While  the  lake  fades  into  the  cloudless  sky  of  the  south 

jj^  The  sun  gone  down,  the  autumn  twilight  steals  afar 
f^|  jQr  over  Chang-sha. 

j^jX  I  wonder  where  sleep  the  lost  queens  of  Hsiang  of  old. 


These  are  two  of  the  five  poems  Li  Po  composed  at  a 
boat  party  with  Chia-chi  and  Li  Hua  while  on  his  way 
to  Yeh-lang.     See  the  Introduction. 

The  Chu  River.  The  Yangtze  takes  this  name  in  this 
vicinity  near  the  Tung-ting  Lake,  which  comprises  the 
ancient  land  of  Chu. 

The  lost  queens  of  Hsiang,  i.  e.  O  Huang  and  Hu 
Yin,  the  wives  of  Shun,  who  perisheed  near  the  lake  by 
the  Hsiang  River.     See  No.  92. 

122.    ON  THE  TUNG-TING  LAKE— II  \> 

The  autumn  night  is  vaporless  on  the  lake.  ^^, 

The  swelling  tide  could  bear  us  on  to  the  sky.  ^*^2 

Come,  let  us  take  the  moonlight  for  our  guide, 
We'll  sail  away  and  drink  where  the  white  clouds  arel 



123.  TO  HIS  WIFE 

Divided  from  you,  I  lament  alone  under  the  skies 
of  Yeh-lang. 
^    In  my  moonlit  house  seldom  a  message  arrives; 
%      I  watch  the  wild  geese  all  go  north  in  the  spring. 
j[&L     And  they  come  south — hut  not  a  letter  from  Yu-chang 



This  is  evidently  addressed  to  his  last  wife,  who  was 
staying  at  Yu-chang,  in  central  Kiangsi,  while  Li  Po 
was  traveling  westward  to  his  place  of  banishment. 


Once  I  sought  the  City  of  White  Jade  in  heaven, 
The  five  palaces  and  twelve  lofty  towers,  &&>  >» 

Where  gods  of  felicity  stroked  me  on  the  forehead,  A&** 

And  I  bound  my  hair  and  received  the  everlasting  life.    *y^*jC 
Woe  to  me,  I  turned  to  the  pleasures  of  the  world,  ^r  ^^ 

Pondering  deep  on  peace  and  war,  J|!^,  ^§^ 

And  the  reigns  of  the  ninety-six  illustrious  kings,  J?-  ^- 

Whose  empty  fame  hangs   on  the   drifting  vapor!  j^  J'av 

I  could  not  forget  the  tumultuous  battles;  I    -fl 

Fain  would  I  try  the  empire-builder's  art  ^sr*5^ 

Of  staking  heaven  and  earth  in  one  throw,  £%  -5rJ 

And  win  me  the  car  and  cap  of  the  mandarin.  \   *\ 

But  time  ordained  a  dire  disappointment,  llL1]^ 

I  threw  my  hopes  and  went,  wandering  wide. 
I  learned  swordsmanship  and  laughed  at  myself. 
I  wielded  my  pen — what  did  I  achieve  after  all? 
A  sword  could  not  fight  a  thousand  foemen; 
The  pen  did  steal  fame  from  the  four  seas, 
Yet  it  is  a  child's  play  not  worth  talking  about, 
Five  times  I  sighed ;  and  went  out  of  the  western  metrop- 
At  the  time  of  my  leaving 
My  hat-strings  were  wet  with  tears. 
It  was  you,  my  friend,  excellent  and  wise, 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

The  peerless  flower  of  our  race, 

Who  spread  the  mat  and  drew  the  curtains  round 

For  a  parting  feast  to  comfort  me  journeying  far. 

You  came  to  see  me  off,  you  and  your  company  on  horse 

As  far  as  the  Inn  of  Cavaliers. 

There  amid  songs  and  tinkling  bells, 

Ere  our  hearts  were  sated, 

The  garish  sun  fell  beyond  the  Kun-ming  Lake.  x 

In  October  I  arrived  in  the  land  of  Yu  Chow, 

And  saw  the  legions  of  star-beaming  spears. 

The  northland  by  the  sea,  abandoned  by  our  dear  em- 

And  trusted  to  one  like  the  monstrous  whale, 

That  drinks  up  a  hundred  rivers  at  one  draught, 

Was  crumbling  fast  to  utter  ruin. 

Knowing  this,  I  could  not  speak  out, 

And  vainly  wished  I  had  lived  in  the  fabled  isle  without 

I  was  like  an  archer  who,  cowed  by  the  wolf, 

Sets  the  arrow  but  dares  not  draw  the  bow-string. 

At  the  Gold  Pagoda  I  brushed  my  tears 

And  cried  to  heaven,  lamenting  King  Chao. 

There  was  none  to  prize  the  bones  of  a  swift  steed. 

In  vain  the  fleet  Black  Ears  bounced  lustily, 

And  futile  it  was,  should  another  Yo-I  appear. 

I  prodded  on,  a  houseless  exile — 

All  things  went  amiss; 

I  sped  my  horse  and  returned  to  your  town.  2 

I  met  you  and  listened  to  your  song  and  twanging  strings, 

Sitting  ceremoniously  in  your  flower-painted  room. 

Your  prefecture  alone  possessed  the  peace  of  antiquity 

And  the  balmy  ease  that  lulled  the  mystical  king  Hsi  to 


To  His  Friend,  Wei,  the  Good  Governor 

You  called  for  musicians,  and  the  hall  was  gay: 

Our  banquet  table  laden  with  wine  cups  and  jars, 

And  handsome  files  of  men  sitting  with  moth-eyebrowed 

Our  feast  went  on  in  the  light  of  blazing  cressets. 
Drunken,  we  danced  amid  the  confusion  of  silken  stools, 
And  round  the  rafters  hovered  our  clear  song — 
So  our  revelry  lasted  till   even  after  the  dawn. 
But  you  returned  to  Hsing-yang,  your  official  days  over. 
What  a  multitude  that  gathered  for  the  farewell  rites, 
And  those  tents  erected  on  the  roadside  near  and  far! 
Once  parted,  we  were  divided  by  a  thousand  miles, 
With  our  fortunes  differing  like  summer  and  winter. 

Summers  and  winters  had  come  and  gone — how  many 

times? — 
And  suddenly  the  empire  was  wrecked. 
The  imperial  army  met  the  barbarian  foe, 
The  dust  of  the  battlefield  darkened  sky  and  sea, 
And  the  sun  and  moon  were  no  longer  bright 
While  the  wind  of  death  shook  the  grass  and  trees. 
And  the  white  bones  were  piled  up  in  hills — 
Ah,  what  had  they  done — the  innocent  people? 

The  pass  of  Han-ku  guarded  the  imperial  seat  of  splen- 
And  the  fate  of  the  empire  hung  on  General  Ku  Shu. 
He  with  his  thirty  thousand  long-spear  men 
Surrendered,  and  opened  the  gate  to  the  savage  horde. 
They  tamed  the  courtiers  like  dogs  and  sheep, 
And  butchered  the  men  who  were  loyal  and  true. 
Both  the  sovereign  and  the  heir  fled  from  the  palace, 
And  the  twin  imperial  cities  were  laid  to  waste.  3 
The  imperial   prince,  given  the   supreme  command, 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Held  his  armies  in  the  stronghold  of  Chu; 

But  there  was  no  discipline  of  Huan  and  Wen. 

His  generals  herded  bears  and  tigers  in  the  ranks-, 

And  men  wavered  in  doubts  and  fears 

While  the  rebellion  raged  like  tempest. 

You  were  defending  Fang-ling,  I  remember, 

With  loyalty  unsurpassed  in  all  ages. 


I  lived  then  in  the  mountain  of  Incense  Burner, 

Eating  the  mist  and  washing  my  mouth  in  the  crysta 

The  house  door  opened  on  the  winding  Nine  Rivers, 
And  beneath  my  pillow  lay  the  five  lakes,  one  linked  to 

When  the  fleet  came  upstream  in  the  midnight 
And  filled  the  city  of  Hsin-yang  with  flags  and  banners, 
I,  betrayed  by  my  own  empty  name, 
Was  carried  by  force  aboard  the  war-boat. 
They  gave  me  five  hundred  pieces  of  gold, 
I  brushed  it  away  like  a  rack,  and  heeded  not; 
Spurned  the  gift  and  the  proffered  title — 
For  all  that  I  was  banished  to  the  land  of  Yeh-lang. 

Oh,  the  long  road  of  a  thousand  miles  to  Yeh-lang! 
The  westward  journey  made  me  old. 
Though  the  world  was  being  put  to  order, 
I  was  ignored  like  a  stalk  of  frost-bitten  grass. 
The  sun  and  the  moon  shine  alike  on  all — 
How  could  I  complain  of  injustice  to  heaven? 
You,  good  governor,  adored  like  a  god, 
Took  compassion  on  your  old  friend. 
You  invited  me  to  be  your  guest  of  honor, 
And  we  ascended  three  times  the  tower  house  of  Yellow 


To  His  Friend,  Wei,  the  Good  Governor 

I  blushed  to  think  of  Mi  Hsien,  the  poet-recluse — 

How  he  would  sit,  looking  complacently  at  the  Parrot 

No  more  heroes  were  born  to  the  enchanted  mountains  of 

And  the  desolation  of  autumn  covered  the  world. 

But  lo,  the  river  swelling  with  the  tides  of  Three  Can- 

And  the  thousands  of  junks  that  thronged  these  wa- 

Jostling  their  white  sails,  gliding  past  to  Yang-chow! 

On  looking  out  on  these  things,  my  grief  melted  away 
in  my  heart. 

We  sat  by  the  gauze-curtained  window  that  opened  to  the 

And  over  the  green  trees  that  grew  like  hair  by  the 

Watching  the  sun  with  fear  lest  it  be  swallowed  by  thq 

And  merry  at  moonrise,  drinking  still  more  wine. 

Those  maids  of  Wu  and  pretty  girls  of  Yueh, 

How  dainty  their  vermilioned  faces! 

They  came  up  by  the  long  flight  of  stairs;  emerged, 

From  behind  the  bamboo  screen,  smiling; 

And  danced,  silken-robed,  in  the  wind  of  spring. 

The  host  was  reluctant  to  pause 
Though  the  guests  knelt  and  asked  for  rest. 
You  showed  me  your  poem  of  Ching-shan, 
Rivaling  the  native  beauty  of  the  lotus, 
That  rises  from  the  lucent  water,  unadorned. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Your  joyous  spirit  swelling  over  in  your  heart, 
You  called  for  me  ever  at  your  residence, 
Your  mansion  whose  red  gate  was  guarded  hy  men, 
Holding   their   spears   in   stately   rows. 
Amid  quaintly  cut  stones  and  trimmed  bamboos 
A  rivulet  ran,  brimming  with  limpid  water. 
We  went  up  and  sat  in  the  waterside  pavilion, 
And  poured  forth  our  souls  in  heroic  discourses. 
A  word  between  us  is  precious  like  white  jade, 
And  a  pledge  of  ours  more  than  yellow  gold. 
I  was  not  unworthy  of  you,  I  venture  to  say, 
And  swore  by  the  Blue  Bird  on  my  fidelity. 

The  happy  magpie  among  the  five-colored  clouds 
Came,  flying  and  crying,  from  heaven. 
The  mandate  of  my  pardon  arrived,  I  was  told, 
And  I  could  return  from  banishment  in  Yeh-lang. 
It  was  as  if  warmth  enlivened  the  frozen  vale, 
Or  fire  and  flame  sprang  from  the  dead  ashes. 

Still  the  dogs  of  Chieh  bark  at  Yao, 
And  the  Tartar  crew  mock  at  the  imperial  command. 
In  the  middle  of  the  night  I  sigh  four  and  five  times, 
Worrying  ever  over  the  great  empire's  affairs. 
Still  the  war  banners  cover  the  sides  of  the  two  moun- 
Between  which  flows  the  Yellow  River. 
Our  generals  like  frightened  fowls  dare  not  advance, 
But  linger  on,  watering  their  idle  horses. 
Ah,  where  shall  we  find  a  Hu-I,  the  archer, 
Who  with  the  first  arrow  will  shoot  down  the  evil  star?  5 

1  This,  the  longest  poem  in  the  entire  collection  of  Li 
Po's  works*,  is   in  a  way   his  autobiography.     It   was 

To  His  Friend,  Wei,  the  Good  Governor 

written  after   he  was  allowed  to  return  from  banishment 
in  759.     See  the  Introduction. 

The  first  stanza  tells  of  his  early  life  of  seclusion  in 
the  world  of  Taoistic  visions;  of  his  ambition;  and  of  his 
disappointment  at  Chang-an,  the  western  metropolis. 

The  Inn  of  Cavaliers  and  the  Kun-ming  Lake  are 
both  situated  in  the  vicinity  of  Chang-an.  At  the  time 
of  Li  Po*s  departure  from  the  capital  {circa  7^.5)  Wei 
was  evidently  in  Chang-an  and  was  able  to  give  him  the 
big  farewell  demonstration  described  herein. 

2  Yu  Chow,  the  northland,  is  in  the  present  Chili  prov- 
ince. It  was  here  that  An  Lu-shan  was  stationed  with 
his  star-gleaming  legions,  and  Li  Po  detected  the  Tartar 
general* s  rebellious  schemes, .  though  he  was  obliged  to 
keep  silent.  It  was  this  region  which  comprised  the 
state  of  Yen  in  the  J/.th  century  B.  C.  and  where  King 
Chao  ruled  and  built  the  Gold  Pagoda. 

King  Chao  once  questioned  his  retainer,  Kuo  Wei,  as 
to  the  ways  of  attracting  the  great  men  of  the  time  to 
his  court.  Kuo  Wei  told  his  liege  the  following  par- 
able : 

Once  upon  a  time  a  certain  king  sent  out  his  servant 
on  a  mission  to  secure  a  swift  horse  that  could  run  a 
thousand  li  in  a  day.  The  servant  returned  with  a  bag- 
ful of  bones  of  a  horse  which  was  said  to  have  made  a 
thousand  li  in  a  day.  For  these  remains  the  servant  had 
paid  500  pieces  of  gold.  The  king  was  angry,  for  he 
wanted  a  live  horse.  The  servant  replied,  "When  the 
world  learns  that  your  Majesty  has  spent  500  pieces  of 
gold  on  a  dead  horse,  the  live  ones  will  arrive  without 
your  looking  for  them."  Indeed,  three  horses — all  of 
them,  one  thousand  li  runners — arrived  soon  at  the  court. 
"So  my  king/'  continued  Kuo  Wei,  "if  you  really  de- 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

sire  to  show  your  high  regard  for  men  of  great  talent, 
begin  with  me  who  have  but  small  talent!" 

King  Chao  took  the  advice.  He  built  the  Gold  Pa- 
goda,  and  there  he  waited  upon  Kuo  Wei  as  his  teacher. 
Then  many  men  of  ability  came  from  all  parts'  of  China 
to  King  Chao,  and  with  their  aid  he  became  the  most 
powerful  of  all  kings. 

The  Black  Ears  was  a  famous  swift  horse. 

Yo-I  was  one  of  those  great  men  who  came  to  King 
Chao.  Li  Po  laments  that  now  there  is  no  sovereign 
seeking  as  earnestly  as  King  Chao  for  men  of  talent. 
And  these,  of  whom  he  is  one,  have  no  opportunity. 

3  Just  in  what  prefecture  Wei  was  stationed  is  not 
known.  When  his  official  term  was  over,  he  returned 
to  Hsin-yang,  a  town  on  the  west  side  of  Chang-an. 
Sometimes  the  two  names  are  applied  synonymously  to 
the  capital. 

The  Chinese  made  a  great  deal  of  leave-taking,  often 
erecting  as  in  this  case  tents  on  the  wayside  and  offer- 
ing sacrifices  to  the  god  of  the  road  for  the  safety  of 
the  one  setting  out  on  his  journey. 

These  passages  refer,  of  course,  to  tUe  rebellion  of  An 
Lu-shan.  General  Ku  Shu  defended  the  Han-ku  Pass, 
which  is  an  older  name  for  Tun  Kuan.  By  the  twin 
imperial  cities  the  poet  very  probably  means  Hsing- 
yang  and  Chang-an,  unless  he  means  the  latter  and  city 
of  Lo-yang.     See  the  Introduction. 

4  The  imperial  prince  i.  e.  Li  Ling,  the  Prince  of 
Yung.     See  the  Introduction. 

Li  Po  was  quite  willing  to  join  the  staff  of  the  prince 

at  the  beginning;  but  when  his  rebellious  intent  became 

obvious,  the  poet  retired  to  the  mountain  of  Luh,  near 

Kiu-kiang,  or  Hsin-yang,  as  it  was  called  at  the  time. 


To  His  Friend,  Wei,  the  Good  Goveemor 

The  Incense  Burner  is  one  of  the  peaks  of  the  Luh 
mountain  range. 

Wei  was  now  the  governor  of  Chiang-hsia,  a  district 
in  southern  Hupeh.  The  Yellow  Crane  House  (See 
note,  No.  Jf.0)  looks  over  the  Y angtze-kiang . 

5  Chieh  is  a  notorious  tyrant,  and  Yao  a  benign  sover- 
eign, of  ancient  China.  By  the  "dogs  of  Chieh"  are 
meant  Shih  Ssu-ming  and  his  cohorts,  who  kept  up  the 
rebellion  started  by  An  Lu-shan. 

Hu  I,  a  famous  archer  of  the  legend,  who  shot  down 
the  false  suns  that  appeared  in  the  heavens  and  devas- 
tated the  crops.  Here  Li  Po  means  a  savior,  who  could 
deliver  the  empire  from  the  clutch  of  the  rebels. 





The  following  poems  by  Tu  Fu  and  others  are  but  a 
few  of  many  such  collected  by  Wang  Chi  and  appended 
to  his  edition  of  Li  Po's  Complete  Works.  These  poems 
are  not  only  beautiful  in  themselves  but  are  of  a  peculiar 
interest  in  that  they  give  a  glimpse  into  the  charming 
circle  of  poets  by  whom  Li  Po  was  surrounded  and  es- 
teemed so  highly. 


Chi-Chang  rides  his  horse,  hut  reels  -* 

As  on  a  reeling  ship.  <K 

Should  he,  blear-eyed,  tumble  into  a  well,  4 

He  would  lie  in  the  bottom  fast  asleep.  ->^ 

Ju-yang  Prince  must  have  three  jugfuls  * 

Ere  he  goes  up  to  court.  >  >> 

How  copiously  his  royal  mouth  waters  * 

As  a  brewer's  cart  passes  by!  ^ 

It's  a  pity,  he  mournfully  admits, 

That  he  is  not  the  lord  of  the  Wine  Spring. 
Our  Minister  Li  squanders  at  the  rate  Y\ 

Of  ten  thousand  pence  per  day.  *** 

He  inhales  like  a  great  whale,  «J 

Gulping  one  hundred  rivers; 
And  with  a  cup  in  his  hand  insists, 

He  loves  the  sage  and  avoids  the  wise. 
Tsung-Chi,  a  handsome  youth  fastidious, 

Disdains  the  rabble, 
And  turns  his  gaze  toward  the  blue  heaven, 

Holding  his  beloved  bowl — 
Radiant  is  he  like  a  tree  of  jade 

That  stands  against  the  breeze. 
Su  Chin,  the  religious,  cleanses  his  soul 

Before  his  painted  Buddha, 
But  his  long  rites  must  needs  be  interrupted 

As  oft  he  loves  to  go  on  a  spree. 
As  for  Li  po,  give  him  a  jugful, 

He  will  write  one  hundred  poems. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

He  drowses  in  a  wine  shop 

On  a  city-street  of  Chang-an; 
And  though  his  sovereign  calls 

Will  not  board  the  imperial  barge. 
"Please  your  Majesty,"  says  he, 

"I  am  a  god  of  wine." 
Chang  Hsu  is  a  caligrapher  of  renown, 

Three  cups  makes  him  the  master. 
He  throws  off  his  cap,  baring  his  pate 

Unceremoniously  before  princes, 
And  wields  his  inspired  brush — lo! 

Wreaths  of  cloud  roll  on  the  paper. 
Chao  Sui,  another  immortal,  elate 

After  full  five  jugfuls, 
Is  eloquent  with  heroic  speech, 

The  wonder  of  all  the  feasting  hall. 


The  Wine  Spring,  located  in  the  western  part  of 
Kansu,  is  said  to  have  possessed  a  natural  fountain  of 

The  sage  and  the  wise.     See  No.  126. 


126.    THE   EX-MINISTER 

Avoiding  the  wise,  I've  resigned 

From  the  empire's  ministry.  tZg 

Loving  the  sage,  still  I  sip 

The  soothing  cup   of   wine. 

Ah,  those  eager  visitors  of  yesterday, 
Who  flocked  at  the  front  of  my  gate — 

How  many  of  them  have  come 

This  morning,  I  pray?  ~^v7v 

— Li  Shih-chi  <«? 


A   book  called  "Facts  about  Poets"  says:     "In   the 
Matter  part  of  the  Kai-yuan  Era   (A.D.  713-7^2)   the 
prime  minister,  Li  Shih-chi,  had  an  enviable  reputation 
for  his  simplicity  and  rugged  uprightness.     Li  Ling-fu 
hated  him,  and  by  slander  and  intrigue  caused  his  re- 
tirement.    All  those  at  the  court  knew  the  innocence  of 
Shih-chi,    but    the    emperor   neglected    to    consult    him.        » -<?j 
Fretting  under  this  mistreatment,  Shih-chi  drank  wine        ~^— 
daily  and  also  made  poems."     Of  which  this  is  a  sped-         '*— — 
men.     He  describes  the' solitude  and  ease  of  his  private 

By  "avoiding  the  wise"  is  meant  vacating  one's  official 
position  in  order  to  make  way  for  the  wise  and  talented. 
The  phrase,  first  used  by  Shih  Ching  of  the  Han  dynasty 
in  his  petition  for  his  release  from  the  office  of  the  pre- 
mier, had  become  a  stock  pretext  for  the  retiring  official. 



Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

On  the  other  hand,  the  thick  wine  was  called  the  wise, 
and  the  clear  wine  the  sage.  Hence,  there  is  in  this 
poem  a  play  on  words  with  a  subtle  irony,  of  a  kind  much 
relished  by  the  literary  Chinese. 


127.    A  VISIT  TO  FAN  WITH  LI  PO 

My  honored  friend,  Li,  writes  excellent  verses, 
Th  \t  ring  at  times  like  Ying-kao's  masterly  lines. 
I,  too,  a  sojourner  of  Tung  Meng, 
Love  him  as  a  younger  brother  loves  the  elder. 
Drunk,  we  sleep  both  under  one  cover  at  night; 
And  in  daytime  we  go  together  hand  in  hand. 
Now  longing  for  a  place  of  quiet  company, 
We  come  to  visit  you  on  the  city's  northside. 
Your  little  boy  waits  on  us  so  handsomely, 
Joy  leaps  in  our  hearts  as  we  enter  your  gate. 
What  solitude!     We  hear  only  the  chilly  mallets, 
And  see  the  clouds  bivouac  before  the  old  city  wall. 
Having  always  sung  the  ode  of  the  sweet  citron, 
Who  cares  to  seek  for  the  soup  of  the  water-herbs? 
You  desire  not  the  debasement  of  official  life, 
But  remain  untrammeled  like  the  blue,  boundless  sea. 


This  poem  was  written  in  the  earlier  days  of  their 
friendship  when  Li  Po  and  Tu  Fu  were  both  in  Shan- 
tung.    Tung  Meng  is  a  district  in  that  province. 



To-day  at  the  time  of  falling  leaves  we  meet  only  to  part 

-  *Z  On  the  autumn  waters  of  the  Tung-ting,  that  stretch  afar 
*— J£^  to  the  horizon. 

Jjr  And  while  talking  together  of  our  good  old  time  at  the 
_^4-»  metropolis  of  gold, 

^J  We  turn  to  the  northern  sky  and  gaze  at  the  stars  of  the 
«-»-f*  Ursa  Major,  our  eyes  filled  with  tears. 

__^  Chia  Chi. 



The  metropolis  of  gold  is  the  capital  of  the  empire, 
Chang-an,  where  both  Li  Po  and  Chia  Chi  had  spent 
their  more  prosperous  days. 



In  the  cool  autumn  month — the  Eight  or  the  Ninth — 
White  is  the  dew,  and  desolate  the  garden  arbor. 

As  I  sat  weary,  devoid  of  the  heart's  buoyancy, 

I  heard  the  wind  whisper  to  the  leaves  on  the  tree-top, 

And  longed  to  see  some  friend,  a  man  of  learning  and 

With  whom  I  could  discourse  over  the  past  and  the  pres- 
When  suddenly  who  should  come  but  you,  Honorable  Li. 

I  greeted  you  with  joy,  regretting  only  it  had  not  been 

I  clapped  my  hands  at  your  enchanting  utterances; 
We  talked  metaphysics;   we  bubbled  with  laughter. 
You  expounded  the  vicissitudes  of  the  past  dynasties, 
And  made  visible  the  exploits  of  kings  and  conquerors. 

A  knap-sack  on  your  back,  filled  with  books, 

You  go  a  thousand  miles  and  more,  a  pilgrim. 

Under  your  sleeve  there  is  a  dagger, 

And  in  your  pocket  a  collection  of  poems. 

Your  eyes  shine  like  luminous  orbs  of  heaven 

When  you  recite  your  incomparable  songs  and  odes. 

You  sip  wine  and  twang  your  lute  strings 

When  the  winter's  breath  congeals  the  crystaline  frost. 

To-day  I  laid  bare  before  you 
All  things  long  stored  in  my  heart. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Now  my  family  has  a  villa, 

Situated  on  the  north  side  of  Mount  Sung. 

One  sees  the  bright  moon  rise  over  the  peak, 

And  the   chaste   beams   silver  the  transparent   stream. 

The  clouds  scatter,  and  the  house  is  quiet; 

The  passing  wind  bears  the  aroma  of  pine  and  cassia. 

If  you  will  deign  to  make  a  visit  thither  with  me, 

I  will  not  forget  the  honor  for  a  thousand  years. 

Tsui  Tsung-chi. 

Tsui  Tsung-chi,  the  handsome  man  and  the  fourth  of 
the  Immortals  in  Tu  Fu's  poem.  He  was  a  good  friend 
of  Li  Po,  and  there  are  a  number  of  poems  extant,  that 
were  written  by  the  latter  to  him.     See  the  Introduction. 

Mount  Sung,  one  of  the  five  sacred  mountains,  is 
to  the  southeast  of  Honan-fu,  Honan. 


130.    TO  LI  PO  ON  A  SPRING  DAY 

Po,  the  poet  unrivaled, 

In  fancy's  realm  you  soar  alone. 

Yours  is  the  delicacy  of  Yui, 

And  Pao's  rare  virility. 

Now  on  the  north  of  the  Wei  River 

I  see  the  trees  under  the  vernal  sky 

While  you  wander  beneath  the  sunset  clouds 

Far  down  in  Chiang-tung. 

When  shall  we  by  a  cask  of  wine  once  more 

Argue  minutely  on  versification? 

Tu  Fu. 

Yui  and  Pao  refer  respectively  to  Yui  Hsin  and  Pao 
Chao,  both  noted  poets  of  the  6th  century, 



131.    TO  U  PO 

-    ^  Long  have  I  not  seen  you,  Li. 

JA  Poor  man,  for  your  feigned  madness 

S  The  world  would  have  you  die. 

a  But  my  heart  dotes  on  your  gifted  soul 

fzniX^         For  the  thousand  poems  of  your  nimble  wit, 
+j~  l*.  For  the  one  wine-cup — your  penury's  balm. 

^^J^v        So  to  your  old  place  of  reading  in  Mount  Kuang 
Come  back,  0  white-headed  one!     It  is  time. 

Tu  Fu. 

Written  possibly  after  the  incarceration  of  Li  Po  at 
Kiu-hiang  and  while  the  death  sentence  "was  hanging 
over  his  white  head. 


132.    THE  GRAVE  OF  LI  PO 

By  the  River  of  Tsai-shih 

There  is  Li  Po's  mound 

Amid  the  endless  plains  of  grass 

That  stretch  to  the  cloud-patched  sky. 

Alas!  here  under  the  fallow  field 

The  bones  of  him  lie  whose  writing  once 

Startled  heavens  and  shook  the  earth. 

Of  all  poets,  unfortunate  as  they  be, 

There  is  none  wretcheder,  Master,  than  you. 

Po  Chu-i. 

It  is  likely  that  Po  Chu-I  visited  the  grave  of  Li  Po 
during  his  banishment  at  Kiu-Iciang,  815-818. 





The  following  translations  are  offered  as  much  be- 
cause of  their  contents  as  because  of  the  interest  they 
possess  as  types  of  ancient  Chinese  writing  at  and  about 
Li  Po's  time. 

Li  Yang-ping's  Preface  is  written  in  the  euphuism  of 
the  Six  Dynasty  Period  with  its  parallel  constructions, 
profuse  classical  allusions,  and  curious  hyperboles. 
Though  the  author's  judgment  is  not  worth  any  serious 
consideration,  this  is  the  first  critical  essay  on  Li  Po. 

The  two  biographies  from  the  "Books  of  Tang,"  in 
spite  of  their  brevity  and  mistakes,  remain  still  the 
official  and  only  extant  authentic  accounts  of  the  poet's 
life  written  in  Chinese. 







Li  Po,  surnamed  Tai-po,  was  a  man  of  Cheng-chi  of 
Lunghsi  and  a  descendant  in  the  ninth  generation  from 
Kao,  who  was  the  king  Wu-chao  of  the  Liang  state. 

His  early  ancestors,  one  after  another,  wearing  the 
gem  and  girdle,  2  were  possessed  of  preeimence  and  re- 
nown. Later  one  Li,  though  he  had  done  no  wrong,  was 
exiled  and  dwelt  in  the  land  of  Chiao-chi,  where  he 
changed  his  names.  The  five  generations  from  Chiung- 
shan  to  the  emperor  Shun  were  in  the  peasantry;  and  so 
were  the  Li's,  and  they  did  not  shine  greatly.  Which  is 
a  thing  to  be  lamented. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  Shen-Iung  era 3  the  family  es- 
caped and  returned  to  Shuh.     Our  "Po-yang"  4  was  born, 

*Li  Yang-ping,  Li  Po's  kinsman,  and  a  calligrapher  of  note, 
brought  out  the  poet's  works  in  762. 

2  "Wearing  gem  and  girdle"  implies  holding  governmental 

3  The  Shen-lung  era  covers  the  years  705  and  706.  The  state- 
ment here  is  obviously  a  mistake  since  by  this  time  Li  Po  was 
already  a  boy  of  four  or  five.  The  New  Book  of  Tang  incor- 
porates this  mistake. 

4Po  Yang.    The  surname  of  Laotzu,  the  founder  of  Taoism, 
who  was  born  in  604  b.  c.  miraculously  from  the  left  side  of 
the  mother.    And  at  his  birth  he  pointed  to  a  plum  tree.    Here 
Li  Yang-ping  alludes  to  Li  Po  metaphorically. 

IA  To  the  Chinese  Poet 

pointing  to  the  plum  tree.  On  the  evening  of  his  birth 
his  mother  dreamed  of  the  planet  of  Chang-keng.  So 
when  the  babe  was  born,  he  was  named  Po,  and  surnamed 
Tai-po.  They  said  he  was  begotten  by  the  spirit  of  the 
Great  White  Star. 

He  would  read  nought  but  the  books  of  the  sages  and 
was  ashamed  to  write  after  the  lewd  school  of  Chen  and 
Wei.5  Thus,  his  words  resembled  the  speech  of  the 
heavenly  genii.  His  writing  consists  of  many  satires  and 

From  the  ages  of  the  Three  Dynasties  6  and  the  times 
of  the  Feng  and  Sao,7  there  has  been  but  one  man,  our 
master,  who  could  run  the  race  with  Chu  and  Sung", 
and  who  could  whip  and  spur  Yang  and  Ma. 8  Yea,  our 
master  walks  alone  in  the  history  of  a  thousand  years. 
Is  it  any  wonder  that  he  swayed  princes  and  earls  who 
hurried  to  him,  arraying  their  multitudinous  arms  and 
linking  the  cross-bars  of  their  carriages  while  num- 
berous  men  of  wisdom  gathered  to  do  homage  as  the 
birds  flock  to  the  Phoenix? 

The  Lord  of  the  Yellow  Gate9  says  that  it  is  the 

5  Chen  and  Wei  are  the  names  of  states  under  the  Chou 
dynasty,  which  contributed  love  songs  to  the  Book  of  "Odes"  com- 
piled by  Confucius. 

6  The  Three  Dynasties.  The  Hsia,  the  Shang  and  the  Chou, 
comprising  the  years  2205-255  b.  c. 

7  Feng  and  Sao  are  styles  of  ancient  poetry.  The  Feng  is 
found  in  the  Confucian  "Odes"  while  the  Sao  originated  with 
Chu  and  Sung  (i.e.  Chu  Yuan  and  Sung  Yu)  of  the  4th  and 
3rd  centuries  B.  C. 

8  Yang  and  Ma.  Yang  Hsiung  (53  b.  c— a.d.  18)  and  Ssu- 
ma  Hsiang-ju  (died  117  B.C.),  two  noted  poets  of  the  Han 

9  The  Lord  of  Yellow  Gate.  Refers  to  a  certain  Lu,  a  sue 
cessful  statesman  as  well  as  a  gentleman  of  parts. 


TJie  Preface  by  Li  Tang-ping 

Censor  of  the  Court,  Chen, l0  who  stayed  the  tide  of  de- 
cadence and  wrought  a  change  of  literature  in  form  and 
matter.  But  even  under  our  present  dynasty  the  poesy 
was  infected  with  the  manners  of  the  seraglio  school  of 
the  Liang  and  Cheng  dynasties  1X  until  our  master  swept 
them  and  banished  them  from  the  earth,  causing  a  mar- 
velous change.  Now  the  books  of  poesy,  new  or  old,  are 
cast  off  and  do  not  prevail.  But  the  writings  of  our 
master  cover  the  universe.  He  in  his  power  may  be 
said  to  rival*  Nature,  the  creator  and  transformer. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  Tien-pao  era 12  his  Majesty's 
grandsire  deigned  to  summon  him.  At  the  Gate  of  Gold 
Horse  the  emperor  alighted  from  his  car  and  walked  to 
meet  our  master,  welcoming  him  as  though  he  were  the 
venerable  Chi  the  Hoary;  13  granted  him  a  feast  on  the 
table  of  seven  jewels  and  made  him  eat,  seasoning  the 
soup  for  him  with  his  august  hands.  He  said :  "Thou  art 
a  cotton-clothed  one,  but  art  become  known  to  me. 
How  could  this  have  been  but  that  thou  hast  cherished 
virtue  and  righteousness?"  So  the  Emperor  let  him  sit 
in  the  Hall  of  Gold  Bells,  and  go  in  and  out  of  the 
Han-ling  Academy;  and  questioned  him  on  the  affairs 
of  government  and  privily  ordered  him  to  compose  man- 
dates and  rescripts.     Of  this  none  was  aware. 

10  Censor  of  the  Court,  Chen.  Chen  Tsu-ang,  a  poet  and  an 
intimate  friend  of  Lu  above. 

11  The  Liang  and  Chen  dynasties  covered  respectively  a.d. 
502-556  and  557-587,  preceding  the  Tang  dynasty. 

12  The  Tien-Pao  era  covers  the  years  742-755. 

13  Chi,,  the  Hoary.  Refers  to  Chi  Li-chi,  one  of  the  so-called 
"Four  Gray-heads,"  of  the  3rd  century  b.  c,  who  withdrew 
from  the  world  toward  the  close  of  the  reign  of  the  First  Em- 
peror of  the  Chin  dynasty,  but  who  reappeared  upon  the  es- 
tablishment of  the  Han  dynasty  and  were  welcomed  and  vener- 
ated by  the  new  emperor. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

But  when  the  true  and  the  base  are  put  side  by  side, 
the  gifted  one  is  injured  and  slanders  are  made,  while 
the  candid  word  of  virtue  fails.  The  emperor  neglected 
him.  Our  master  drank  wine  and  by  his  indulgence  ob- 
scured himself.  And  when  he  made  poems  and  songs, 
he  spoke  often  of  the  East  Mountain.  With  Ho  Chi- 
chang,  Tsui  Tsung-chi  and  the  rest,  he  did  also  the  revel 
of  the  Eight  Immortals.  Chi-chang  called  him  "a  god 
in  exile."  So  his  comrades  at  the  court  made  compo- 
sitions, entitled  "The  Song  of  the  God  in  Exile,"  which 
were  several  hundred  in  number,  and  most  of  which  men- 
tioned our  master's  disappointments  in  life.  The  Son  of 
Heaven,  knowing  that  he  could  not  be  retained,  gave  gold 
and  let  him  depart. 

Thereafter  he  went  with  Yen-yun,  visiting-inspector 
of  Chen-liu, 14  to  the  High  Heavenly  Priest  of  Pe-hai, 
whom  he  petitioned  and  was  bestowed  the  Taoist  tablet 
at  the  Purple  Peak  Temple  in  Chi-chou.15  He  only  de- 
sired to  return  east  to  Peng-lai16  and  ride  with  the 
winged  man  to  the  Scarlet  Hill  of  immortality. 

I,  Yang-ping,  was  then  trying  my  harp-playing  and 
singing 17  at  Tang-tu,  although  it  was  not  what  my  heart 
coveted.     Our  master,  forsaking  me  not,  took  a  skiff 

14  Chen-liu.    A  city  near  Kaifeng-fu,  Honan. 

15  Chi-chou.    The  present  city,  Chinan-fu,  Shantung. 

16  Peng-lai  is  a  fabled  island  in  the  eastern  sea ;  and  the  Scar- 
let Hill  a  dwelling  place  of  exalted  spirits.  The  Winged  Men 
are  those  who  have  attained  the  highest  rank  in  the  Taoist 

17  To  do  "harp-playing  and  singing"  means  simply  to  govern, 
the  phrase  having  a  classic  allusion  to  the  story  of  the  legendary 
emperor  Shun  of  whom  it  is  written,  "Shun  sang  the  Song  of 
the  South  Wind,  and  there  was  peace  in  the  land."  Here  the 
writer  simply  means  that  he,  Yang-ping,  was  governor  of  Tang-tu. 


The  Preface  by  Li  Yang-ping 

and  came  to  see  me.  It  was  when  I  was  about  to  hang 
up  my  mandarin  cap  18  that  our  master  sickened.  His 
manuscripts  in  ten  thousand  bundles  and  his  hand  col- 
lections were  not  yet  arranged.  So  while  lying  on  his 
pillow,  he  delivered  them  to  me  to  be  put  in  order.  In 
discoursing  on  the  significations  of  the  Kuan-chu,  now  I 
feel  ashamed  to  Pu  Shang;  19  while  in  expounding  the 
words  of  the  Spring  and  Autumn  I  must  forever  blush 
before  Tu  Yu. 

Since  confusion  befell  the  mid  imperial  plains,20  our 
master  sought  refuge  elsewhere  for  eight  years.  His 
writings  of  those  years  were  lost,  nine  out  of  ten. 
What  are  preserved  herein,  are  for  the  most  part  what  I 
obtained  from  others. 

Done  on  the  I-chiu,  the  11th  moon  of  the  First  Year 
of  the  Pao-ying  Era.     (762). 

18  To  "hang  up  one's  mandarin  cap"  is  to  resign  from  office. 
Yang-ping  was  transferred  from  Tang-tu  to  Chin-yun  Chekiang, 
in  763. 

19Pu-shang  (born,  507  B.C.),  a  disciple  of  Confucius,  had 
the  distinction  of  being  entrusted  by  his  master  with  the  fa- 
mous collection  of  Odes,  the  "Shi  King,"  of  which  Kuan-chu  forms 
a  part.  Tu  Yu  of  the  3rd  century,  a.  d.,  was  a  celebrated 
commentator  on  another  Confucian  classic,  the  Spring  and 
Autumn.  By  his  metaphorical  allusions  to  these  eminent  men 
and  books  Li  Yang-ping  means  to  exalt  the  works  of  Li  Po 
which  he  is  editing  and  commenting  upon. 

20  The  "Confusion,"   of  the   "mid  imperial   plains"   refers   to 
the  Rebellion  of  An  Lu-shan  which  was  started  in  755. 


(From  the  "Old  Book  of  Tang"1) 

Li  Po,  surnamed  Tai-po,  was  a  man  of  Shantung.2 
While  young,  he  possessed  a  superior  talent,  a  great  and 
tameless  spirit,  and  fantastical  ways  of  a  transcendent 
mind.  His  father  was  Captain  of  Jen-cheng,  and  there 
Po  made  his  home.  While  young  still,  he  with  the 
youths  of  Luh — Kung  Chao-fu,  Han  Chun,  Pei-Cheng, 
Chang  Shu-ming,  and  Tao-Mien — retired  in  the  moun- 
tain of  Chu-lai,  where  they  drank  wine  freely  amid  blithe 
singing.  They  were  known  at  the  time  as  "the  Six  Id- 
lers of  the  Bamboo  Valley." 

Early  in  the  Tien-pao  era  Po  went  traveling  to  Kuei- 
chi.  He  retired  to  a  district  in  Yen  with  a  Taoist,  whose 
name  was  Wu-yun.  Yun  was  called  and  went  up  to  the 
imperial  palace.  He  recommended  Po  to  the  court.  And 
they  were  both  ordered  to  wait  upon  the  emperor  in  the 
Han-ling  Academy. 

Po  loved  wine  as  hithertofore;  and  with  his  drinking 
companions  drowsed  daily  in  the  tavern. 

The  emperor  Hsuan  Tsung  arranged  tunes  and  desired 
to  have  new  words  for  the  court  music.    At  once  he 

*  Li  Hsu  (897-947)  wrote  the  "Old  Book  of  Tang,"  a  chronicle 
of  the  Tang  dynasty,  with  a  large  number  of  biographies.  The 
book  was  completed  in  934. 

2  Li  Po  was  not  born  in  Shantung,  but  made  his  home  there 
for  a  time  as  is  told  in  the  Introduction.  Jen-cheng  is  a  city  in 


Li  Po — A  Biography  by  Liu  Hsu 

summoned  Po  from  the  Tavern  where  he  lay.  Men  took 
water  and  dashed  it  on  his  face,  after  which  he  was 
made  to  hold  the  writing  brush.  Anon,  he  composed 
ten  or  more  songs.  The  emperor  was  much  pleased 

Once  while  dead  drunk  in  the  palace  hall  Po  held  out 
his  feet  and  made  Kao  Li-shih  to  pull  off  his  shoes. 
Because  of  this  he  was  dismissed  and  sent  away. 

Now  he  wandered  over  lakes  and  rivers.  He  drank 
heavily  all  day  long.  At  this  time  Tsui  Tsung-chi,  the 
Court  Historian,  demoted,  was  serving  at  Chin-ling. 
With  Po  he  matched  poems  and  drank  wine.  One  moon- 
light night  they  took  a  boat  from  Tsai-shih  to  Chin-ling. 
Arrayed  in  the  palace  robe  of  brocade,  Po  sat  in  the 
boat,  laughed  and  rolled  his  intrepid  eyes  as  though 
there  were  no  mortals  near  him.  Ere  this,  Ho  Chi- 
chang  met  Po  and  praised  him,  saying,  "This  man  is  a 
god  exiled  from  the  heaven  above." 

In  the  rebellion  of  Luh-shan  the  emperor  Hsuan 
Tsung  made  his  progress  to  the  land  of  Shuh.  On  his 
way  he  appointed  Ling,  Prince  of  Yung,  as  supreme  Mili- 
tary Commander  of  Chiang  and  Hwai  Regions  and  Gov- 
ernor-general of  Yang-chou.  Po  was  at  Hsuan-Chou, 
and  had  an  audience  of  the  prince,  and  at  last  entered 
his  service.  Prince  of  Yung  plotted  conspiracy,  and 
was  defeated  in  the  war.  Po,  involved,  was  sentenced 
to  perpetual  banishment  to  Yeh-lang.  Later  he  was  par- 
doned and  enabled  to  return.  He  died  at  last  at  Hsuan- 
cheng  with  too  much  drinking.  There  are  twenty  vol- 
umes of  his  writing  which  prevail  at  this  time. 



(From  the  "New  Book  of  Tang"1) 

Li  Po,  surnamed  Tai-po,  is  a  descendant  in  the  ninth 
generation  from  the  emperor  Hsing-sheng.  His  ancestor 
in  the  latter  part  of  the  Sui  dynasty  was  for  some 
wrong-doing  exiled  to  the  west  barbarian  land;  but  the 
family  escaped  and  returned  in  the  beginning  of  the 
Shen-lung  era.     They  sojourned  in  Pa-hsi. 

At  the  time  of  Po's  birth  his  mother  dreamed  of  the 
planet  of  Chang-keng,  and  because  of  this  he  was  named 
after  the  star.  At  ten  years  of  age  he  was  versed  in 
"the  Odes"  and  "the  History."  When  he  was  grown  up, 
he  hid  himself  in  the  Min  Mountain,  and  would  not  re- 
spond though  the  province  called  for  men  of  talent. 

Su  Ting  became  Governor  of  I-chou.  On  seeing  Po, 
he  wondered  and  said:  "This  lad  is  a  genius,  he  is  bril- 
liant and  singular.  If  a  little  more  learning  be  added, 
he  may  be  compared  with  Hsiang-ju."  But  Po  delighted 
in  strategems  of  crisscross  alliances,  took  to  swordsman- 
ship, and  to  errantry,  scorning  riches  but  esteeming 

Later  he  sojourned  in  Jen-cheng;  and  with  Kung 
Chao-fu,  Han  Chun,  Pei  Cheng,  Chang  Shu-ming,  and 
Tao-mien,  dwelt  in  the  Chu-lai  Mountain,  daily  drinking 

iThe  "New  Book  of  Tang"  was  finished  in  1060  by  Ou-yang 
Hsiu  and  Sung  Chi.  Sung  Chi,  who  did  all  the  biographies 
in  this  book  died  in  1061. 


Li  Po — A  Biography  by  Sung  Chi 

till  they  sank  to  the  ground.  They  called*  themselves, 
"the  Six  Idlers  of  the  Bamboo  Valley." 

At  the  beginning  of  the  Tien-pao  era  he  journeyed 
south  to  Kuei-chi,  where  he  made  a  friend  of  Wu-Yun. 
Yun  was  summoned  to  court.  So  arrived  Po  also  at 
Chang-an.  He  went  to  see  Ho  Chi-chang.  Chi-chang 
saw  his  writing  and  said  with  a  sigh,  "You  are  a  god  in 
exile."  He  spoke  to  the  emperor  Hsan  Tsung.  Po  was 
given  audience  in  the  Hall  of  Golden  Bells;  he  dis- 
coursed upon  the  affairs  of  the  world,  and  presented  an 
ode.  The  emperor  made  him  eat,  seasoning  the  soup 
for  him.  A  rescript  was  issued,  by  which  Po  was  ap- 
pointed to  serve  in  the  Han-ling  Academy. 

Po  still  went  with  his  drinking  companions,  and 
drowsed  in  the  market  place. 

The  emperor  sat  in  the  Pavilion  of  Aloes.  Stirred 
by  a  fancy,  he  desired  to  obtain  Po  to  write  songs  to 
music.  Po  was  summoned  in,  and  he  was  drunk.  The 
attendants  took  water  and  washed  his  face.  When  he 
recovered  somewhat,  he  was  handed  a  writing  brush, 
and  made  compositions.  Exquisite  and  graceful  and 
finely  finished  they  were,  yet  he  made  them  without 
stopping  to  think.  The  emperor  liked  Po's  talent,  and 
often  banqueted  with  him. 

Once  while  attending  upon  the  emperor,  Po  grew 
drunk  and  made  Kao  Li-shih  pull  off  his  shoes  for  him. 
Li-shih,  a  favorite  of  the  throne,  was  humiliated  thereby. 
He  pointed  out  to  Yang  Kuei-fei  a  poem  of  Po,  and 
caused  her  wrath.  So  when  the  emperor  desired  to  ap- 
point Po  to  office,  then  she  stopped  him. 

Po  himself,  knowing  he  could  not  be  taken  in  by  those 
near  the  throne,  all  the  more  abandoned  himself  to 
recklessness.  With  Ho  Chi-chang,  Li  Shih-chi,  Chin, 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Prince  of  Ju-nan,  Tsui  Tsung-chi,  Su  Chin,  Chang-Hsu, 
and  Chiao  Sui,  he  made  up  the  "Eight  Immortals  of  the 
Wine-cup."  He  implored  for  permission  to  return  to 
the  mountains;  and  the  emperor  gave  gold  and  let  him  go. 

Po  roamed  hither  and  thither.  One  time  he  took  a 
boat  with  Tsui  Tsung-chi  from  Tsai-shih  to  Chin-ling. 
Arrayed  in  the  palace  robe  of  brocade,  he  sat  in  the 
boat  as  though  there  were  no  mortal  near  him. 

At  the  time  of  Au  Lu-shan's  rebellion  Po  lingered  be- 
tween the  Su-sung  and  the  Kuang-luh  mountains.  Ling, 
Prince  of  Yung,  called  him  and  made  him  a  subordinate 
of  his  staff.  When  Ling  started  war,  Po  fled  to  Peng-tse. 
But  with  the  fall  of  Ling,  Po  was  sentenced  to  death. 
Ere  this,  when  Po  was  stopping  in  Ping-chou,  he  met  Kuo 
Tsu-i  and  admired  him.  Once  Tsu-i  broke  the  law,  and 
Po  came  to  rescue  and  had  him  freed.  So  now  Tsu-i 
petitioned  to  ransom  Po  with  his  own  rank  and  title 
whereupon  a  rescript  was  issued  for  his  perpetual  ban- 
ishment at  Yeh-lang. 

He  received  pardon,  and  returned  to  Hsin-yang.  There 
he  was  imprisoned  on  account  of  a  certain  affair,2  when 
Sung  Jo-ssu  on  his  way  to  Honan  with  his  army  of  three 
thousand  men  of  Wu  came  to  Hsin-yang,  released  the 
prisoner,  and  placed  Po  on  his  general  staff.  But  be- 
fore long  he  resigned.  When  Li  Yang-ping  became 
Governor  of  Tang-tu,  Po  went  to  live  with  him. 

Emperor  Tai  Tsung  ascended  the  throne,3  and  he  sum- 
moned Po  to  take  the  office  of  the  censor  of  the  court; 

2  This  story  of  Li  Po's  second  incarceration  and  his  subse- 
quent relations  with  Sung  Jo-ssu  is  not  authentic.  Sung  Jo-ssu 
was  the  man  who  memorialized  the  throne  on  behalf  of  Li  Po  at 
the  occasion  of  the  latter's  imprisonment. 

3  Tai  Tsung  ascended  the  throne  in  763. 


Li  Po — A  Biography  by  Sung  Chi 

but  Po  was  then  dead.  His  years  were  sixty  and  a 
little  more. 

In  his  old  age  Po  was  fond  of  Taoism.  He  crossed 
the  Bull  Rock  Shoal  and  reached  Ku-shu,4  where  the 
Green  Hill  of  the  House  of  Hsieh  pleased  him,  and  he 
wished  to  make  it  the  place  of  his  last  rest.  But  when 
he  died,  he  was  buried  at  the  East  Base. 

In  the  beginning  of  the  Yuan-ho  era 5  Fan  Chuan- 
cheng,  Inspector  of  Hsuan-she,  performed  rites  at  his 
grave,  and  forbade  woodcutting  at  the  place.  He 
sought  for  descendants  of  his.  There  were  only  two 
granddaughters,  who  were  married  and  were  wives  of 
peasants,  but  who  carried  with  them  an  air  of  refinement. 
They  wept  and  said,  '"Our  grandfather  wanted  the  Green 
Hill;  but  is  buried  at  the  East  Base,  that  is  not  his 
true  wish."  Whereupon  Chuan-cheng  made  a  reburial 
and  erected  two  monuments.  He  told  the  two  women 
that  he  would  marry  them  into  the  official  class.  They 
declined,  saying,  "It  is  our  destiny  to  end  in  poverty 
and  isolation.  We  desire  not  to  re-marry."  Chuan- 
cheng  approved  them,  and  relieved  their  husbands  from 
the  conscript  labor  for  the  state. 

In  the  reign  of  the  emperor  Wen  Tsung  6  by  imperial 
edict  Po  in  songs  and  odes,  Pei-min  in  sword  dance, 
and  Chang  Hsu  in  cursive  calligraphy,  were  declared 
"the  Three  Paragons." 

4  Ku-shu,  is  not  far  from  Tang-tu,  which  is  an  old  name  for 
Taiping,   Anhwei. 

5  Yuan-ho  era.    806-820. 

6  Wen  Tsung  reigned  during  827-841. 




Very  shorty  after  the  death  of  Li  Po,  Li  Yang-ping 
published  a  collection  in  ten  books  with  a  preface  dated 
762,  in  which  he  says  that  the  poet  had  lost  a  large  por- 
tion of  the  poems  written  during  his  wanderings  after 
the  Rebellion  of  An  Lu-shan,  and  many  pieces  in  the 
books  had  been  obtained  from  friends.  Under  the  Sung 
Dynasty  and  about  the  year  1000,  Kuo  Yo-shih  brought 
out  a  collection  of  ten  books,  which  he  combined  with 
that  of  Li  Yang-ping,  making  twenty  books  with  765 
poems  altogether,  beside  ten  books  of  miscellaneous 
writings.  In  1064  the  first  two  of  the  three  volumes  of 
another  collection  were  discovered,  adding  100  new 
poems.  Wei  Hao's  collection  in  two  books  was  not 
brought  to  light  till  1068,  which  contributed  44  new 
pieces.  Thus  the  collection  grew.  In  1080  Sung  Ming- 
chiu  published  the  complete  works  in  thirty  books,  con- 
taining nearly  1000  poems  and  66  pieces  in  prose.  Under 
the  Ming  dynasty  and  in  1759  Wang  Chi  brought  out 
the  final  edition  of  the  complete  works  in  30  books, 
with  copious  annotations  and  six  books  of  critical,  bio- 
graphical and  miscellaneous  matter  gleaned  and  gath- 
ered from  all  possible  sources.  This  edition  was  re- 
printed in  1908  by  the  Soo  Yeh  Company  of  Shanghai. 

Besides  those  enumerated  above,  there  have  been  pub- 
lished innumerable  editions  of  complete  works  and  se- 
lections in  past  centuries.  I  have  used  a  modern  Jap- 
anese edition  of  selected  poems,  consulted  a  Chinese 
edition  of  the  Sung  period  in  the  Newberry  Library  of 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Chicago,  and  also  the  original  Wang  Chi  edition  of  1759 
in  the  New  York  City  Public  Library.  The  textual  varia- 
tions are  few  and  unimportant  as  far  as  the  poems  in  the 
present  book  are  concerned. 



The  following  books  and  periodicals  are  only  the  more 
important  items  of  the  Li  Po  Literature  in  English, 
French,  and  German,  which  have  come  to  the  writer's 
notice.  The  figure  in  parenthesis  at  the  end  indicates 
the  number  of  poems  of  Li  Po  translated  in  the  book. 

Joseph  Marie  Amiot.  Memoires — concernant — VHis- 
toire;  les  Sciences,  Les  Arts,  les  Moeurs,  les  Usages,  etc. 
— des  Chinois,  par  les  Missionaries  de  Pekin.  Paris, 
1776-97.  14  vols.  Contains  a  short  biographical  sketch, 
"Ly-pe,  Poete."    Vol.  V.,  Pp.  396-399. 

Anna  Bernhardi.  Li  Tai-Po.  Mitteilungen  des  Semi- 
nar fur  Orientalische  Sprache,  die  Koniglishen  Friedlich 
Wilhelms  Universitat,  Berlin,  1916.  Vol.  19,  Pp.  105- 
138.  Translations  with  the  Chinese  text.  Introduction, 
notes,  list  of  previous  translations.     Also  a  translation 

of  Li  Yang-ping's  Preface  with  the  original  text.     (41) 


Hans  Bethge.  "Die  Chinesische  Flote."  Leipzig: 
Inselverlag,  1910.     (15) 

Charles  Budd.  "Chinese  Poems."  Oxford:  Oxford 
University  Press,  1912.  A  discussion  of  Chinese  versi- 
fication in  the  Introduction.  Translations  in  rhymed 
verse.     (1) 

L.  Cranmer-Byng.    "A  Lute  of  Jade."    London:  J. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Murray,  1911.  New  York:  E.  P.  Dutton  &  Co.,  1918. 
Poems  of  different  periods.  The  Introduction  covers 
"the  Poets  of  the  Tang  Dynasty"  and  "a  Poet's  Emperor" 
(Hsuan  Tsung).     (8) 

"A  Feast  of  Lanterns."     London:  J.  Mur- 

ray, 1916.    New   York:  E.  P.  Dutton  &  Co.,  1918.     (6) 

Joseph  Edkins.  "On  Li  Tai  Po."  Journal  of  the  Pekin 
Oriental  Society,  1890.  Vol.  II.,  No.  5,  Pp.  317-364. 
A  paper  read  before  the  society  on  December  21,  1888. 
Translations  in  rhymed  verse  with  Chinese  text.     (24) 

Karl  Florenz.  "Gedichte  von  Li  Taipe"  in  "Beitrage 
fur  Chinesische  Poesie."  Mitteilungen  der  Deulschen 
Geselschaft  fiir  Natur — und  Volkerkunde  Ostasiens, 
1889.  Vol.  I,  Pp.  44-61.  Contains  a  biography,  notes 
and  the  original  Chinese  text.     (12) 

A.  Forke.  "Bliithen  Chinesischer  Dichtung."  Magd- 
burg,  1899.  Poems  of  the  Han,  the  Six  Dynasties,  as 
well  as  the  Tang  periods,  done  in  rhymed  verse.  Il- 
lustrations.      (39) 

Judith  Gautier.  "Poems  Chinois  de  Tous  les  Temps." 
Revue  de  Paris,  June,  1901.     (3) 

"Le  Livre  de  Jade."     Paris,  1867  and  1918. 

"Chinese   Lyrics."     From    "The   Book   of 

Jade"  translated  by  James  Whithall.     New  York:  B.  W. 
Huebsch,  1918.     (9) 

H.  A.  Giles.     "Gems  of  Chinese  Literature."    London : 
Bernard  &  Quaritch,  1884.     (3,) 


"A  History  of  Chinese  Literature."     London 

&  New  York:  D.  Appleton  &  Co.,  1901.  Pp.  151-156. 

"Chinese  Poetry  in  English  Verse."  Lon- 
don: Bernard  &  Quaritch,  1898.  A  collection  of  Chinese 
poems  from  different  periods,  some  of  which  are  scat- 
tered throughout  the  "History  of  Chinese  Literature" 
above.     (21) 

Wilhelm  Grube.  "Geschichte  der  Chinesischen  Li- 
terature." Leipzig:  C.  F.  Amelangs  Verlag,  1902.  Pp. 
277-284.     (2) 

Marquis  d'Hervey  Saint-Denys.  "Poesie  de  l'Epoque 
de  Thang."  Paris,  1862.  An  Anathology  of  the  Tang 
period  with  notes.  Biographical  sketch  of  Li  Po  in  the 
Introduction.     (29) 

Elizabeth  Oehler-Heimerdinger.  "Chinesische  Lyric," 
Geist  Ostens,  Miinchen,  1913.  I  Jahrgang,  Heft  3, 
Pp.  108-118. 

Theodore  Pavie.  "Le  Poete  Ly  Tai-pe."  "Choix  des 
Contes  et  Nouvelles."  Paris,  1839.  The  story  of  Li  Po, 
one  of  the  nouvelles,  is  entirely  unreliable,  though  not 
without  elements  of  truth.     Pp.  9-142. 

Ezra  Pound.  "Cathay."  London:  Elkin  Mathews, 
1915.     (11) 

Franz  Toussaint.  "La  Flute  de  Jade."  Paris,  1920. 
A  collection  of  very  free  and  often  fragmentary  trans- 
lations in  prose.     (17) 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Arthur  Waley.  "Li  Tai-Po."  The  Asiatic  Review, 
London,  October,  1919.  Vol.  XV,  No.  44,  Pp.  584-612. 
A  paper  which  was  read  before  the  China  Society.  A 
valuable  introduction  with  a  translation  of  the  poet's 
Biography  in  the  "New  Book  of  Tang."     (24) 

"More    Translations    from    the    Chinese." 

New  York:  Alfred  Knopf,  1919.  Poems  of  Li  Po  in 
this  book  are  a  selection  from  those  in  the  Asiatic  Re- 
view, above. 

Florence  Ayscough  and  Amy  Lowell.  "Fir-Flower 
Tablets."  Boston:  Houghton,  Mifflin  Co.,  1921.  Poems 
translated  by  Mrs.  Ayscough  and  done  into  English  verse 
by  Miss  Lowell.    Mostly  from  Li  Po  and  Tu  Fu.     (85) 

For  general  reference  a  few  more  books  may  be  sug- 
gested, though  they  do  not  particularly  concern  Li  Po. 

Demetrius  C.  Boulger.     "The  History  of  China."    Lon- 
don: W.  Thacker  &  Co.,  1898. 

Li  Ung  Bing.     "Outlines  of  Chinese  History."  Shang- 
hai: the  Commercial  Press,  1914. 

Sir  John  Francis  Davis.     "Poeseos  smicae  commentari" 
(the  Poetry  of  China).     London:  Asher  &  Co.,  1870. 

Arthur  Waley.     "One  Hundred  and  Seventy  Chinese 
Poems."    New  York:  Alfred  Knopf,  1919. 

Herbert  Giles.     "A  Chinese  Biographical  Dictionary." 
London:  B.  Quaritch,  1892  and  1900. 


Previous  translations,  where  they  exist,  are  noted  under 
each  poem,  although  the  compilation  is  by  no  means 
exhaustive.  As  for  the  full  name  of  the  translator 
and  the  title  of  his  book  or  article,  see  the  foregoing 

No.  1.    On  the  Ship  of  Spice-wood. 

Pound,  Cathay.     The  River  Song. 
St.  Denys,  Poesie.     En  Bateau. 
Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Le  Bonheur. 
Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.     River   Song. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.     River  Chant. 

No.  2.    In  the  Mountains  on  a  Summer  Day. 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.  and  More  Translations. 
In  the  Mountains  on  a  Summer  Day. 

No.  3.    Nocturne. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Autumn  River 

No.  4.    A  Farewell  Song  of  White  Clouds. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    The  Song  of 
White  Clouds. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

No.  5.    The  Long  Departed  Lover. 

Bernhardt,  Li  Tai-po.     In  die  Feme. 
Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade,    La  Chambre 

No.  6,  7,  8.    Lady  Yang  Kuei-fei  at  the  Imperial 
Feast  of  the  Peony,  I,  II,  III. 

Cranmer-Byng,  A  Lute  of  Jade.  An  Em- 
peror's Love. 

St.  Denys,  Poesie,  Strophes  Improvisees. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.  Strophes  Im- 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets,  Songs  to 
the  Peonies. 

No.  9.  A  Poem  Composed  at  the  Imperial  Command 
in  the  Spring  Garden,  While  Looking  on 
the  Newly  Green  Willows  by  the  Dragon 
Pond  and  Listening  to  the  Hundred-fold 
Notes  of  the  First  Nightingales. 

No.  10.  To  His  Friend  Departing  for  Shuh. 

Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.    Address  to  a  Friend. 
Pound,   Cathay.    Leave-taking  near  Shuh. 

No.  11.  To  His  Three  Friends. 

No.  12.  Addressed  Humorously  to  Tu  Fu. 

No.  13.  On  a  Picture  Screen. 



No.  14.  On  Ascending  the  North  Tower  One  Autumn 

No.  15.  The  Summit  Temple. 

No.  16.  Lao-lao  Ting,  a  Tavern. 

No.  17.  The  Night  of  Sorrow. 

Edkins,   On   Li   Tai-Po.     Feeling  Aggrieved. 
Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.     Die  Weinende. 
Giles,  Gems  of  Chinese  Lit.     Tears. 
Lowell,      Fir-Flower      Tablets.     Passionate 

No.  18.  The  Sorrow  of  the  Jewel  Staircase. 

Bethge,   Die   Chin.    Flbte.     Die   Treppe   im 

Edkins,    On    Li    Tai-Po.     Grief    on    Marble 

Giles,  Gems  of  Chinese  Lit.     From  the  Palace. 
Pound,  Cathay.     The  Jewel  Stair's  Grievance. 
Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Le  Chagrin  de 

Perron  de  Jade. 

No.  19.  The  Girl  of  Pa. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    La  Femme  de 

No.  20,  21,  22,  23,  24.  The  Woman  of  Yueh.    I,  II, 
III,  IV,  V. 

Toussaint,    La   Flute   de   Jade.    Les   Jeunes 
Filles  de  Yueh.     (No.  22) 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Lowell,     Fir-Flower     Tablets.    The     Young 
Girls  of  Yueh.     (No.  21,  22) 

No.  25.  The  Solitude  of  Night. 

Cranmer-Byng,  A  Feast  of  Lanterns.     Along 

the  Stream. 
Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.     Expressing   What  I 

Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.     The  Poet. 
Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.  and  More  Translations. 

Self  Abandonment. 

No.  26.  The  Monument  of  Tears. 

No.  27.  On  a  Quiet  Night. 

Bernhardi,   Li   Tai-Po.     Gedanken   in   Stiller 

Cranmer-Byng,   A   Lute   of  Jade.    Thoughts 

in  a  Tranquil  Night. 
Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.    Thoughts  on  a  Quiet 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.     Gedanken  in 

Stiller  Nacht. 
Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.     Mondenschein. 
Bethge,  Die  Chin.  Flote.     In  der  Fremde. 
Giles,      Chinese     Poetry      in      Eng.     Night 


,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.  P.  154. 

St.    Denys.     Poesie.     Pensee   dans   une  Nuit 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.     Tristesse. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Night  Thoughts. 


No.  28.  The  Blue  Water. 

Bernhardi,     Li     Tai-Po.     Die     Weise     von 

Griinen  Wasser. 
Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.    Song  of  the  Green 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.     Im  Kahn. 
Gautier,     Chinese     Lyrics.     The     Forbidden 

Oehler-Heimerdinger,   Chinesche  Lyric.     Im 


No.  29.  The  Ching-ting  Mountain. 

Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.    Sitting  Alone  on  a 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.     Einsam  auf 

dem  Berge  King-ting  Sitzend. 
Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.     Companions. 
,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.    P.  154. 

No.  30.  With  a  Man  of  Leisure. 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Zechlage  mit 

einem  Einsiedler  in  Gebirge. 
Waley,   Asiatic  Rev.     Drinking   Together   in 

the  Mountains. 

No.  31.  The  Yo-mei  Mountain  Moon. 

No.  32.  On  the  City  Street. 

No.  33.  On  the  Death   of  the   Good  Brewer  of 



Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  On  the  Subject 
of  Old  Tai's  Wine-shop. 

No.  34.  To  His  Wife. 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.    Mein  Frau. 

No.  35.  The  Poet  Thinks  of  His  Old  Home. 

Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po,  East  Mountain  Recol- 

No.  36,  37.  Sorrow  of  the  Long  Gate  Palace.    I,  II. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Bitter  Jealousy 
in  the  Palace  of  the  High  Gate. 

No.  38.  An  Encounter  in  the  Field. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  A  Poem  Given 
to  a  Beautiful  Woman  Encountered  on  a 

No.  39.  To  Wang  Lun. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  A  Parting  Gift  to 
Wang  Lun. 

No.  40.    On  Seeing  off  Meng  Hao-jan. 

Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.    Gone. 

Pound,  Cathay.  Separation  on  the  River 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    At  the  Yellow 
Crane  Tower,  Taking  Leave  of  Meng  Hao- 
Jan  on  his  Departure  to  Kuang  Ling. 


No.  41.  On  Being  Asked  Who  He  Is. 

No.  42.  In  the  Mountain. 

Giles,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit    P.  155. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Reply  to  an  Un- 
refined Person  Encountered  in  the  Hills. 

No.  43.  The  Fair  Queen  of  Wu. 

Bethge,      Die      Chin.    Flote.    Liebestrinken. 
Gautier,  Rev.  d.  Paris.     Ivresse  d'Amour. 

,  Chinese  Lyrics,  Intoxication  of  Love. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    La  Danseuse 
Un   Peu   Ivre. 

No.  44.  While  Journeying. 

Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.    In  Exile. 

No.  45.  The  Ruin  of  the  Ku-Su  Palace. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Les  Ruines  de 

Lowell,      Fir-Flower    Tablets.    A    Traveler 

Comes  to  the  Old  Terrace. 

No.  46.  The  Ruin  of  the  Capital  of  Yueh. 

No.  47.  The  River  Journey  from  White  King  City. 

Edkins,   On  Li   Tai-Po.     From   the   City   of 
White  God. 

No.  48,  49.  By  the  Great  Wall,  I,  II. 

St.  Denys,  Poesie.    Chansons  des  Frontieres. 
(No.  48) 


Ia  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Encore.     (No. 

Lowell,   Fir-Flower   Tablets.    Songs   of   the 

March,  III.     (No.  48) 

No.  50.  The  Imperial  Concubine. 

Bernhardt,  Li  Tai-Po.    Acht  Gedechte  iiber  die 

Freuden  in  Palastinnern. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Pleasures  within 

the  Palace. 
Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.    A  Favorite. 
,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.    P.  152. 

No.  51.  Parting  at  Ching-men. 

No.  52.  On  the  Yo-Yang  Tower  with  his  Friend  Chia. 

No.  53.  Awakening  from  Sleep  on  a  Spring  Day. 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.    Der  Trinke  im  Friih- 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Lebensweis- 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.     Im  Rausch. 

Giles,    Gems    of    Chinese    Lit.     On    Getting 
Drunk  in  Spring. 

Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.     The  Best   of 

Life  is  But — 

St.  Denys,  Poesie.     Un  Jour  de  Printemps. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Un  Jour   de 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.    Waking  from  Drunken- 
ness on  a  Spring  Day. 


Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets,  A  Statement  of 
Resolutions  after  Being  Drunk  on  a  Spring 

No.  54  Three  With  the  Moon  and  His  Shadow. 

Bethge,  Die  Chin.  Flote.  Drei  Kameraden. 
Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Einsame  Ge- 

lage  im  Monschein. 
Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.     Last  Words. 

,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.    P.  153. 

Grube,  Geschichte  d.  Chin.  Lit.  Trinklieder. 
Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.  Petite  Fete. 
Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.  &  More  Translations. 

Drinking  Alone  in  the  Moonlight,  I. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Drinking  Alone 

in  the  Moonlight,  I. 

No.  55.  An  Exhortation. 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.    Afforderung  zum  Trin- 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.    Der  Rabe. 
St.  Denys,  Poesie.    Chanson  a  Boire. 
Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.    Drinking  Song. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets,    Drinking  Song. 

No.  56.  The  Intruder. 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.    Friihlings  Gedanken. 

No.  57.  The  Crows  at  Nightfall. 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.  Des  Rabens  Nachtlicher 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 


Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.  Raven  Calling  in  the 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.    Der  Rabe. 

Gautier,  Chinese  Lyrics.  The  Birds  are  Sing- 
ing at  Dusk. 

Giles,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.    P.  155. 

,    Chinese    Poetry    in    Eng.    For    Her 


Cranmer-Byng,  A  Lute  of  Jade.  Memories 
with  the  Dusk  Return. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Les  Corbeaux. 

No.  58.  To  Meng  Hao-jan. 

No.  59.  To  Tung  Tsao-chiu. 

Pound,  Cathay.    Exile's  Letter, 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.    Sent  to  the  Commissary, 

Yuan  of  Chiao  City,  In  Memory  of  Former 


No.  60.  Taking  Leave  of  a  Friend. 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.  Geleit. 
Gautier,  Rev.  d.  Paris.  Le  Depart  d'un  Ami. 
Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.  A  Farewell. 
Pound,  Cathay.  Taking  Leave  of  a  Friend. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets,  Saying1  Good- 
bye to  a  Friend. 

No.  61.  Maid  of  Wu. 

No.  62.  The  Lotus. 

No.  63.  To  his  Two  Children. 


No.  64.  To  a  Friend  Going  Home. 

No.  65.  A  Mountain  Revelry. 

No.  66.  The  Old  Dust. 

Giles,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.    P.  155. 

No.  67.  A  Pair  of  Swallows. 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    La  Fidelite. 

No.  68.  At  a  River  Town. 

No.  69.  I  Am  a  Peach  Tree. 

No.  70.  The  Silk  Spinner. 

No.  71.  Chuang  Chou  and  the  Butterfly. 

No.  72.  The  Poet  Mourns  his  Japanese  Friend. 

Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.    A  Japanese  Lost  a^ 

No.  73.  In  the  Spring-time  on  the  South  side  of  the 
Yangtze  kiang. 

No.  74.  The  Steep  Road  to  Shuh. 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.    The  Ssuchuan  Road. 
Lowell,   Fir-Flower   Tablets.    The   Perils  of 
the  Shu  Road. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

No.  75.  Parting  at  a  Tavern  of  Chin-ling. 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.  Parting  with  Friends  at 
a  Wine-shop  in  Chin-ling. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  The  Poet  is  De- 
tained in  a  Nanking  Wine-shop  on  the  Eve 
of  Starting  on  a  Journey. 

No.  76.  The  Phoenix  Bird  Tower. 

Bernhardi,    Li    Tai-Po.    Aufstieg    auf    dem 

Turme  des  Phoeniz-Paares  in  Chin-ling. 
Pound,  Cathay.     The  City  of  Cho-An. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flofver  Tablets.    Feng  Huang  Tai. 

No.  77.  His  Dream  of  the  Sky-land:  a  Farewell 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.  A  Dream  of  Tien-Mu 
Mountain    (a   partial    translation). 

No.  78.  In  Memoriam. 

No.  79.  On  the  Road  of  Ambition. 

No.  80.  To  Tu  Fu  from  Sand  Hill  City. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  A  Poem  Sent  to 
Tu  Fu  from  Sha  Chili  Cheng. 

No.  81.  A  Vindication. 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.  and  More  Translations. 

Drinking  Alone  in  the  Moonlight,  III. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Drinking  Alone 

in  the  Moonlight,  II. 


No.  82.  To  Luh,  the  Registrar. 

No.  83.  To  the  Fisherman. 

No.  84.  The  Tears  of  Banishment. 

No.  85.  The  Lotus  Gatherer. 

Bethge,  Die  Chin.    Flote.    Am  Ufer. 
Cranmer-Byng,  A  Lute  of  Jade.     On  the  Banks 

of  Jo-yeh. 
Gautier,    Chinese    Lyrics.    At    the    River's 

St.  Denys,  Poesie.    Sur  les  Bords  de  Jo-Yeh. 
Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    Sur  les  Bords 

de  Jo-Yeh. 
Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.    On  the  Banks  of  Jo-Yeh. 

No.  86.  The  Sport  Fellows. 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.    Die  Kameraden. 

No.  87.  The  Rover  of  Chao. 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.    Der  Fahrende 

Grube,  Geschichte  d.  Chin.  Lit.    Ballade  vom 

Fahrenden  Ritter.     P.  282. 
St.  Denys,  Poesie.    Le  Brave. 
Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.    La  Gloire. 

No.  89.  To  his  Friend  in  Chiang-hsia. 

No.  90,  91.    The  Cataract  of  Luh  Shan,  I,  II. 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Der  Wasser- 
fall  am  Lushan.     (No.  90) 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

No.  92.  Bereft  of  Love. 

Waley,   Asiatic  Rev.    The   Distant   Parting. 

No.  93,  94.  Lady  Wang-chao,  I,  II. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    The  Honorable 
Lady  Chao.     (No.  94) 

No.  95.  The  North  Wind. 

No.  96.  The  Borderland  Moon. 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.    Der  Mond  fiber  dem 

Kuan  Berge. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    The  Moon  over 

the  Mountain  Pass. 

No.  97.  The  Nefarious  War. 

Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.  Dicht.    Elend  des  Krie- 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.     Fighting. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    Fighting  to  the 

South  of  the  City. 

No.  98.  Before  the  Cask  of  Wine. 

Bernhardi,    Li    Tai-Po.    Zwei    Lieder    beim 

Becher  Wein. 
Forke,  Bliithen  Chin.    Dicht.    Beim  Wein. 

No.  99.  Yuan  Tan-chiu  of  the  East  Mountain. 

Bernhardi,   Li   Tai-Po.    Schreiben    an   Yuan 

Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.    To  Tan-chiu. 


No.  100.  Lines. 

Bernhardi,   Li  Tai-Po.     Gedichte   aus  Zeilcn 

von  Drei,  Fiinf  und  Sieben  Zeichen. 
Giles,  Chinese  Poetry  in  Eng.     No  Inspiration. 
Ldwell,   Fir-Flower  Tablets,    Word  Pattern. 

No.  101,  102,  103,  104.  The  Ballads  of  the  Four 

Bernhardi,  Li  Tai-Po.  Vier  Wu  Lieder  nach 
Tsu-yeh  Art. 

St.  Denys,  Poesie.  Chanson  des  Quatre  Sai- 

Toussaint,  La  Flute  de  Jade.  Chanson  des 
Quatre  Saisons. 

Cranmer-Byng,  A  Lute  of  Jade.  Under  the 
Moon.     (No.  103) 

Giles,  Gems  of  Chinese  Lit.  The  Grass- Wid- 
ow's Song.     (No.   103) 

No.  105,  106.  Two  Letters  from  Chang-kan. 

Bernhardi,    Li     Tai-Po.    Zwei     Lieder     aus 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.     Das  Lied  von 

Chang-Kan.     (No.  105) 
Pound,  Cathay.    The  River  Merchant's  Wife: 

A  Letter.     (No.  105) 
Waley,  Asiatic  Rev.     Chang-Kan.     (No.  105) 
Lowell,      Fir-Flower     Tablets.     Chang-Kan. 

(No.  105) 

No.  107.  On  Ascending  the  Sin-ping  Tower. 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Beim  Aufstei- 
gen  im  Hause,  Sin-Ping-Lou. 

Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

No.  108.  On  Visiting  a  Taoist  Recluse  on  Mount  T^ 
Tien,  but  Failing  to  Meet  Him. 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.  Vergeblicher 
Besuch  bei  einem  Einsiedler. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  Visiting  Taoist 
Priest  on  the  Mountain  that  which  Upholds 
Heaven;  He  is  Absent. 

No.  109.  At  the  Cell  of  an  Absent  Mountain  Priest. 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.     Besuch  bei 
einem  Bergpriester,  den  Ich  Nicht  Antraf. 

No.  110.  On  a  Moonlight  Night. 

Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Gedanken  beim 

Betrachten  des  Mondes. 
Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.    In  Deep  Thought, 

Gazing  at  the  Moon. 

No.  111.  A  Visit  to  Yuan  Tan-chiu  in  the  Mountains. 
No.  112.  A  Midnight  Farewell. 

No.  113.  The  Song  of  Luh  Shan. 

Edkins,  On  Li  Tai-Po.    Song  of  Lushan. 
Florenz,  Gedichte  v.  Li  Taipe.    Lied  auf  dem 

No.  114,  115,  116.  To  his  Wife  on  his  Departure. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  Separated  by 
Imperial  Summons  from  Her  who  Lives 



No.  117.  On  his  White  Hair. 

Giles,  Hist,  of  Chinese  Lit.     P.  153. 

,    Chinese    Poetry    in    Eng.     Within    a 

Oehler-Heimerdinger,       Chinesische       Lyric. 

Wenn  All  mein  Weisses  Haar. 

No.  118.  To  the  Honorable  Justice  .Hsin. 

No.  119.  On  Hearing  the  Flute  in  the  Yellow  Crane 

No.  120.  On  Hearing  the  Flute  in  Lo-cheng  One 
Spring  Night. 

Lowell,  Fir-Flower  Tablets.  Hearing  a  Bam- 
boo Flute  on  a  Spring  Night  in  the  City  of 
Lo  Yang. 

No.  121,  122.  On  the  Tung-ting  Lake,  I,  IL 
No.  123.  To  His  Wife. 

No.  124.  To  His  Friend  Wei,  the  Good  Governor  of 
Chiang-hsia.  Written  in  Commemoration  of  the 
Old  Friendship  during  the  Days  of  his  Banish- 
ment after  the  Tumult  of  War. 

No  attempt  was  made  to  list  previous  translations  for 
the  following  poems  in  Part  II. 


Li  Po  the  Chinese  Poet 

No.  125.  The  Eight  Immortals  of  the  Wine-cup. 


No.  126.  The  Ex-Minister  of  State.         Li  Shih-chi 
No.  127.  A  Visit  to  Fan  with  Li  Po.  Tu  Fu 

No.  128.  Parting  with  Li  Po  on  the  Tung-Ting  Lake 

Chia  Chi 

No.  129.  An  Invitation  to  Li  Po.  Tsui  Tsung-chi 

No.  130.  To  Li  Po  on  a  Spring  Day.  Tu  Fu 

No.  131.  To  Li  Po.  Tu  Fu 

No.  132.  The  Grave  of  Li  Po.  Po  Chu-i